'Dead' al Qaeda’s No 2 backs rebels in Syria
Dubai: A militant website has published a video message from al Qaeda deputy leader Abu Yahya al-Libi, whom Washington had reported as killed in a drone strike in Pakistan last week.
Both the SITE Monitoring Service and IntelCenter, which keep tabs on militant websites, said it was not clear when the video had been made, reports The Express Tribune.
It was not immediately clear whether the posting of the video was an attempt to show Libi had survived the attack. The US-based SITE said the video production date only indicated it had been produced by al Qaeda's media arm as-Sahab sometime after November 2011, and the film was only dated with the current Islamic year 1433.
Libi's video surprised those expecting a scathing message against the West.
Without any mention of drone attacks, he called on its fighters outside Syria to join the rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad, calling him a "tyrant" and his government a "criminal regime”, according to SITE's translation.
"We call on our brothers in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey to go to help their brothers. If your revolution was to be peaceful, God would have chosen it that way, but now the illusion of peaceful means after these great sacrifices ... would show weakness," Libi said, addressing Syrians.
The US government called the killing of Libi, who had survived previous attacks, a serious blow to al Qaeda.
"Since when have the United States, United Nations and West been keen to protect lives of Muslims," he asked.
"Have the West's observers and missions helped (the Syrian people)?" he added.
SITE said the message post accompanying the video refers to Libi with honorific titles normally reserved for the living.
IntelCenter said: "It is not unknown for groups to release videos of key figures that were filmed prior to their death but had not yet been released."