CAIRO, Egypt - The deputy leader of al-Qaida accused moderate Arab leaders of
being traitors for cooperating with the United States in a message posted on the
Internet Saturday to mark the most important Islamic holiday.
Ayman al-Zawahri wished the
Palestinian people a happy Eid al-Adha, but lashed out at moderate Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement.
Al-Qaida's deputy leader, Ayman
al-Zawahri, is seen in this file photo made from videotape posted on the
Internet on Dec. 7, 2005. In a Web posting Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006,
al-Zawahri accused moderate Arab leaders of being traitors for cooperating
with the United States. [AP]
"Those who had sold Palestine, the secular traitors, cannot be your brothers.
Do not recognize their legitimacy. ... And don't sit with them," al-Zawahri said
in a 15-minute audiotape message posted on a Web site commonly used by Islamic
Al-Zawahri did not mention Saddam Hussein's execution, suggesting the tape
was made before the ousted leader's hanging on Saturday.
The tape could not immediately be verified, but a banner posted on the Web
site said it came from al-Qaida's media production house, al-Sahab.
Abbas met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert earlier this month in an
effort to restart U.S.-backed peace talks between the Jewish state and the
Palestinians. Abbas is jockeying with the radical Islamic Hamas group for
popular support in the increasingly turbulent West Bank and Gaza.
In the audiotape, al-Zawahri also denounced US ally Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak in an apparent reference to recent arrests and detentions of several
members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. "I greet my brothers inside the
prisons of Mubarak, the traitor," he said.
Al-Zawahri extended his Eid greeting to Iraq, praising the leader of al-Qaida
in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, and urged Muslims in Somalia, Chechnya,
Indonesia, the Philippines and Algeria to keep on fighting the "infidels and