A new al-Qaida videotape posted Sunday on a militant Web site featured a
short, undated clip of a weary-looking Osama bin Laden praising martyrdom.
The bin Laden clip, which lasted less than a minute, was part of a 40-minute
video featuring purported al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan paying tribute to
fellow militants who have been killed in the country.
Bin Laden glorified those who die
in the name of jihad, or holy war, saying even the Prophet Muhammad "had been
wishing to be a martyr."
Timeline shows some of the purported
audio and video messages by al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri in 2007 and
amount of time it took for the terror network to release them to the
"The happy (man) is the one that God has chosen him to be a martyr," added
bin Laden, who was shown outdoors wearing army fatigues and looking tired.
The authenticity of the video could not be verified, but it appeared on a Web
site commonly used by Islamic militants and carried the logo of as-Sahab,
al-Qaida's media production wing. It was not immediately clear when the video of
bin Laden was filmed.
Bin Laden was last heard from in a July 1, 2006 audio tape in which he voiced
support for the new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq and warned nations not to send
troops to fight a hardline Islamic regime that had recently seized power in
Sunday's video, dedicated to Muslims who have left their homes to fight
jihad, included a series of animated scenes showing green fields overlaid with
Arabic names written in gold, representing Arab fighters who had died in
Following one such sequence, the self-proclaimed leader of al-Qaida in
Afghanistan appeared praising his fellow fighters.
"Your hero sons, courageous knights have left to the land of Afghanistan ...
the land of jihad and martyrdom, answering the call for the sake of God to kick
out the occupier who has desecrated the pure soil of Afghanistan," said Mustafa
In another clip, a man identified as Mujahid Haidarah al-Hawn was shown
sitting in front of a tree with an AK-47 paying tribute to a Syrian fighter,
Osama al-Hamawi, who died in an air raid in Afghanistan.
"I lived with him for four years," said al-Hawn, who wore a black scarf to
cover his face. "He used to be my emir (commander) . . . He was a brother with
A photo of al-Hamawi's face, apparently taken after his death, was broadcast,
showing bruises around his eye and a red gash on his forehead.
A bearded man identified as Abu Yahia al-Libi, a Libyan al-Qaida operative in
Afghanistan, appeared in the video wearing a black turban, saying the Muslim
world was "offering the best of its men and sacrificing the good of its sons ...
to protect its ideology."
Al-Libi escaped U.S. custody in 2005 and is believed to be behind a suicide
bombing that killed 23 people outside the main U.S. base in Afghanistan during a
February visit by Vice President Dick Cheney.
The video also contained a series of clips with militants wearing traditional
Afghan dress and carrying rifles and RPG launchers through the mountains.