A video was broadcasted on Arab television, showing a man who called himself one of four bomb attackers of the July 7 transit bombings, saying that the violence was motivated by "atrocities" against Muslim people. The al-Jazeera network also aired a tape from al-Qaida's second-in-command asserting that the "glorious raid" in Britain "has moved our battle right to the enemy's doorstep."
The video of the one-time classroom assistant was broadcast by the Arabic news channel al-Jazeera, which followed Khan's video with one of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second in command of al-Qaida.
British-born Mohammad Sidique Khan, from West Yorkshire, said civilians were legitimate targets because of the policies of the UK government, a reference to Iraq and Palestine.
He was quoted as saying by Guardian: "We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation."
Comments from Khan and al-Zawahiri suggest that the terrorist network was more involved in the attacks than western intelligence and analysts had previously thought.
Both tapes seemed to amount to al-Qaida claiming responsibility for the July 7 attacks, and thus potentially more potent than thought after four years of the war on terror.
Prior to the broadcast, counter-terrorism officials had believed the attacks might have been motivated by al-Qaida ideology, but that was the limit of the influence of the network headed by Osama bin Laden.
The tape was produced by the al-Sahab video production house, used by al-Qaida for its earlier propaganda videos.
If the tape turns out to be authentic, it would offer the first direct explanation for the deadliest attack on British soil since World War II. While the tape does not claim that al-Qaida was involved in planning or carrying out the attacks, it suggests that the terrorist network's radical philosophy is inspiring young Muslims to commit violence in response to the policies of the United States and Britain in Iraq and the Middle East, Washington Post reports.
In the second tape, Ayman Zawahri, an Egyptian-born surgeon who is bin Laden's right-hand man, calls the London bombings a "slap in the face of the arrogant, crusader British rulers" and "a sip from the glass that the Muslims have been drinking from." As he had in a taped broadcast last month on al Jazeera, Zawahri said the London attacks, along with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and the 2004 train bombings in Madrid, were responses to the policies of President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
On photo: Ayman al-Zawahiri.
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