(AP) - Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader warned in a new videotape released Thursday that the terrorist group would not stand idly by while Israeli bombardments "burn our brothers" in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
In the message broadcast by Al-Jazeera television, Ayman al-Zawahri, second in command to Osama bin Laden, said that al-Qaida now saw "all the world as a battlefield open in front of us."
The Egyptian-born physician said the Hezbollah and Palestinian battles against Israel would not be ended with "cease-fires or agreements." The fighting began
last month following a Palestinian cross-border raid in which an Israeli soldier was captured, then expanded to Lebanon after Hezbollah militants captured two other soldiers in a raid earlier this month, reports Trend.
"The war with Israel does not depend on cease-fires. ... It is a Jihad for God's sake and will last until (our) religion prevails," al-Zawahri said. "We will attack everywhere."
Al-Zawahri wore a gray robe and white turban. A picture of the burning World Trade Center was on the wall behind him along with pictures of two other militants.
The Arab satellite station appeared not to have transmitted the entire tape, using instead selected quotes interspersed with commentary from an anchor.
"The shells and rockets ripping apart Muslim bodies in Gaza and Lebanon are not only Israeli (weapons), but are supplied by all the countries of the crusader coalition. Therefore, every participant in the crime will pay the price," al-Zawahri said.