DUBAI (Reuters) – Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an al Qaeda ally fighting the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, has issued a new threat against Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi in a purported taped message posted on the Internet.
Elsewhere, an Internet statement by Zarqawi’s Tawhid and Jihad Group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s intensive attacks in Iraq including Baghdad’s Green Zone compound housing the U.S. and other embassies and Iraq’s interim government.
“We will make sure that the traitor Allawi gets his due. You traitor, stop pretending and wait, because we will know how to be more cunning than you,” said the taped voice, which sounded like previous recordings in Zarqawi’s name.
“Expect the Angel of Death, just when you think you’re safe with your idiot friends in your government. While you have your Christians, we have our Lord who answers our calls.”
The group’s statement said “Tens of the mujahideen’s rockets struck different targets in Sunni governorates and especially in Baghdad and U.S. headquarters and the traitorous Iraqi government and some embassies of coalition countries.”
It was one of the heaviest barrages in the capital for months. The group also said it was behind an attack that wounded three people at Abu Ghraib prison, which officials said was carried out by a suicide car bomber.
“This is in response to God’s order and to bring victory to Muslims and free prisoners. The mujahideen affirm they are still in control and are capable of attacking the enemy wherever and whenever they choose,” it added.
Sunday’s violence, which also included street fighting, killed at least 22 Iraqis.
The United States has offered a $25 million reward for the capture of Zarqawi, its top militant target in Iraq.
The recording, which lasts around 20 minutes, appeared on the bulletin boards of a number of Islamist Web sites often used by militant groups.
Zarqawi, a Jordanian who Washington says is allied to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, condemned what he called a “Satanic alliance” in Iraq of U.S. forces, Kurds and Shi’ites.
Zarqawi’s Tawhid and Jihad group has claimed responsibility for many attacks in Iraq, including the kidnapping of foreign workers and suicide bombings that have killed Iraqi officials.