Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri took aim at US President Barack Obama in a new video, accusing him of continuing to spill the blood of Muslims and saying Israel was a “crime” that must be wiped out, according to a US monitoring group.
He also dismissed Obama’s Middle East peace push as a “deception,” and accused Obama of seeking to create a “Palestinian state that works as a branch of the Israeli intelligence,” according to a transcript of an interview published by the SITE Intelligence Group on Monday.
“Israel is a crime that must be eliminated,” declared the Egyptian-born surgeon considered the brains behind Al-Qaeda, adding that Muslims have a duty to expel Israel from Palestine.
Zawahiri, whose whereabouts remain a mystery, also rejected Obama’s overtures to the Muslim world as an illusion, pointing to raids in Pakistan’s tribal regions and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Zawahiri, who dismissed Obama as a “house negro” after his election in November 2008, branded the US president a “criminal” and a “liar.”
“I say to him and to the Americans, plant hatred in the hearts of Muslims to reap (the harvest) from your blood,” Zawahiri said in his latest interview with Al-Qaeda’s media arm As-Sahab.
Obama, who made a landmark speech in Cairo in June calling for improved ties between the West and Islam, “tries to sell an illusion to the wrong and oppressed,” said Zawahiri, who has a 25-million-dollar US bounty on his head.
He charged that Muslims were being “massacred” because of Obama’s policies in Pakistan and Afghanistan and insisted that Islamist fighters would continue to battle “infidel” troops until they withdraw from Muslim land.
In July, Zawahiri urged Pakistanis to support insurgents in their battle against a US-led “crusade” which he said threatened the country’s existence, according to video which SITE said was posted on jihadists web forums.
Zawahiri also blasted Obama’s Middle East policies, saying the US president was not sincere in his declared quest to reach a solution to decades of conflict and set up an independent Palestinian state.
“This is what Obama wants for us, a Palestinian state that works as a branch for the Israeli intelligence,” Zawahiri was quoted as saying.
“Obama is like a wolf with claws deep in your flesh and asking you to give up your defence because he wants peace with you.”
Obama “is only a blood-spiller of Muslims like his predecessor, (George W.) Bush,” Zawahiri said.
He also lashed out at French President Nicolas Sarkozy who said in June that the head-to-toe burqa is a sign of women’s “subservience” that was “not welcome” in staunchly secular France.
“France claims to be secular while its heart flows with hate towards Islam,” Zawahiri was quoted as saying.
The burqa, which covers a woman’s body from head to toe including a mesh-like slit for the eyes, is which is worn by hardline Muslims.