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Bin Laden's top deputy: 'We are going with our jihad'

DOHA, Qatar (CNN) -- In a defiant and remarkably quick response to President Bush's latest rallying cry in the war against terrorism, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant said al Qaeda fighters will not give up "until the last American soldier comes out of Palestine and the rest of the Islamic world."

Ayman al-Zawahari, wearing a white turban and cradling an assault rifle against his shoulder, sent his message to the Al-Jazeera television network office in Kabul even as the U.S.-led bombing campaign continued to pound targets across Afghanistan.

The tape was broadcast just 20 hours after President Bush's national address Thursday evening, illustrating how closely al Qaeda is following news developments on the other side of the globe.

Al-Zawahari, a physician who is suspected of engineering several terrorist attacks in Egypt, criticized Bush for ignoring what el-Zawahri called the "main engine" behind the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington: American support for Israel.

He also decried U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's announcement this week that the president will not meet with Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat at the United Nations meetings in New York this weekend.

"Americans will not change their policies toward Palestine ... They can ignore whatever they want in Palestine and they can ignore all of the advice of all the world leaders, but the root of terrorism is in the conflict in Palestine," he said. "We are going with our jihad."

"Its campaign is a failure," he said, referring to the United States. "Bush is defending this campaign and saying he has destroyed al Qaeda network and Taliban forces. ... They can lie as much as they want, but the whole world will find out, after the fierce destructions, who is the liar and who is telling the truth."



 
 
 
 



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