Ayman Al Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s number two, has warned, on Wednesday 06/08/2011, that Osama Bin Laden will continue to “terrify” the USA from beyond the grave. The statement was posted on Jihadist websites.

It comes five weeks after U.S forces killed Bin Laden in Abbottabad Raid, on 05/01/2011, and less than a week after another prominent figure, Ilyas Kashmiri, died in a US UAV drone attack. This is the first time Al Zawahiri has spoken publicly since Bin Laden’s death (see Zawahiri’s previous video – Footage 04.14.11 ).

It remains to be seen who – if anyone – will become the new, pre-eminent leader of the world’s most notorious militant group.

Ayman Al Zawahiri notably omits to refer to a new leader for Al Qaeda, despite speaking for 28 minutes in the new video. Most of it is taken up with a eulogy to Bin Laden.

“The sheikh has departed, may God have mercy on him, to his God as a martyr and we must continue on his path of jihad to expel the invaders from the land of Muslims and to purify it from injustice…Today, and thanks be to God, America is not facing an individual or a group, but a rebelling nation, which has awoken from its sleep in a jihadist renaissance” Zawahiri said.

Speaking in measured tones, Ayman Al-Zawahiri denounces the Americans for burying his former leader at sea. He also backs the wave of Arab unrest and calls for Sharia Islamic law to be applied in Egypt and warned Libyans that NATO’s bombing campaign seeks to replace Muammar Gaddafi with a Western-backed tyrannical regime (see – The Libyan-Campaign).
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