Al-Qaeda says Pak offensive in tribal areas is "doomed"
Last Updated: Friday, August 28, 2009, 18:30
Dubai: Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman-al-Zawahri on Friday said that Pakistan military's offensive in the Swat valley was "doomed to failure" and described it as part of "US crusade" to divide the Islamic country.

In a message posted on Islamic websites Zawahri, who is the second in command of al-Qaeda has urged the Pakistanis to support Taliban forces.

Though, the tape quoted by Al Jazeera is 48-minute long it fails to make any mention of slaying of Pakistan Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud or his succession by Hakimullah Mehsud.

The silence of the al Qaeda's deputy leader to make any mention of recent killing of Baitullah and some other top militant commanders is significant as according to US agencies Zawahri and his Chief Osama bin Laden are suspected to be hiding in South Waziristan, where Pakistani forces and armour are poised to strike any time.

"The war in tribal areas and Swat valley is an integral part of the crusades on Muslims across the world," Zawahri said in the tape posted on the Qaeda linked website.

In the video, Zawahri says Pakistani offensive code named "Path of Salvation" is "turning into the path of doom."

"There is no honour for us except through Jihad," he said.

"People of Pakistan...back the Jihad and Taliban," the Egyptian said. However, he made no mention of any role al Qaeda played in the succession process in Tehrik-e-Taliban.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, August 28, 2009, 18:30

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