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Last Updated: Monday, 11 September 2006, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
New al-Qaeda warning marks 9/11
Ayman al-Zawahiri broadcast on 11 September
Ayman al-Zawahiri said the US would be expelled from the Gulf
Al-Qaeda's deputy leader has marked the fifth anniversary of the 11 September attacks with a warning of fresh attacks targeting Israel and the Gulf.

Ayman al-Zawahiri's warning came in a new video broadcast by Arabic channel al-Jazeera and other networks.

He says Western countries are doomed to defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and should instead bolster their defences in the Gulf and Israel.

Ayman al-Zawahiri also condemned the policies of his native Egypt.

Israel has been able to dominate Lebanon and Gaza only because Egypt has been totally removed from the conflict with Israel
Ayman al-Zawahiri

In the video, he presents himself as a scholar in front of a bookshelf filled with Islamic legal texts, rather than as a warrior on the battlefield, as he has done in previous videos.

He says: "You should not concern yourself with the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are already doomed.

"Instead you should worry about your presence in two areas. The first is the Gulf, from where you will be expelled... And the second is Israel, because the jihadi reinforcements are getting closer."

The deputy to Osama Bin Laden says al-Qaeda has "repeatedly offered a truce" so now has "all legal and rational justification to continue to fight you".

He also turned his fire on the Cairo government, saying: "Israel has been able to dominate Lebanon and Gaza only because Egypt has been totally removed from the conflict with Israel."

Central arena

Al-Zawahiri is the most prominent of al-Qaeda's video spokesmen and the group has delivered a number of messages in the lead-up the fifth anniversary of 11 September.

On Thursday, al-Jazeera broadcast what it said was unseen footage of Bin Laden meeting some of the 11 September hijackers.

The channel said it showed al-Qaeda leaders "preparing for the attacks and practising their execution".

BBC Middle East analyst Roger Hardy says the media - including satellite TV and the internet - remain a central arena in the global struggle between the West and Islamic extremism.

For each side, he says, information is as crucial a weapon as guns and bombs.




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