The Jama’at al-Tawhid Wal Jihad [Monotheism and Jihad Group], led by Al-Qa’ida operative Abu-Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, released a new audiotape on July 5 on their Internet website. The tape, a 60-minute audiotape, is attributed to Al-Zarqawi. The tape appears under the following heading: “Important commandments to the mujahidin and in reply to the defeatists, from the amir of Jama’at al-Tawhid Wal Jihad, Shaykh Abu-Mus’ab al-Zarqawi.”

The tape begins with a recitation of verses from the holy Koran followed by the sound of gunfire and running horses.

Al-Zarqawi begins by addressing “believers,” asking them to fear God and “die Muslims.”

Al-Zarqawi says: “History repeats itself. The logic of events throughout the ages does not change. Persons change, players get replaced, and machines are developed; however, the stage of events is the same and the story of the conflict is one. It is right battling falsehood and Islam fighting nonbelief and paganism.”

Al-Zarqawi condemns “the weak” who “wait for the end of the battle to side with the strong and board the ships of the victor.” He hails those “who carry the banner in the age of defeatism and raise foreheads in the age of subservience.”

Al-Zarqawi addresses the nation, saying “the oppressors have gone too far” and that “wolves, and even dogs, have made bold with us.”

Al-Zarqawi says the “solution” to this situation is “jihad.” Al-Zarqawi cites advice by “leaders of jihad” in early Islam through which he urges the “brother mujahidin” to show resolve and adhere to principles. He cites as examples battles in early Islam suggesting victory comes from God.

“O brother mujahidin, God’s victory may come late, and you may suffer defeats and casualties. This is not strange, for this is a divine law that applied to previous nations. God’s law does not change.”

Al-Zarqawi tells the “mujahidin” that “you are in a situation for which you should be envied, not as said by defeatists and liars, who look at things from a purely materialistic viewpoint and who are terrified by reports by western and Arab media and their subordinates that Al-Ahzab [the allied forces that fought Muslims in Al-Khandaq battle in Medina] have triumphed and the mujahidin escaped.”

Al-Zarqawi accuses the Muslim ulema of having “left the field and given up the leadership of the convoy,” saying “you can only hear their voice when they speak against the mujahidin.” Criticizing the ulema’s position toward the beheading of Nicholas Berg, Al-Zarqawi says “they condemned [the beheading of Berg] because they had previously refrained from fighting the infidels.” “They lied and claimed that this matter has distorted the image of Islam in the eyes of delicate westerners, and that the world interacted with the Abu Ghurayb and Guantanamo crime and this operation came to negatively affect this interaction and response from the world. [They even claimed] that the popularity of Bush, the dog of the Romans, was at its lowest level and this operation came to increase his popularity. It is as if the alleged free people of the world had sharpened their swords and mobilized their battalions to liberate Iraq and save the free and the bereaved women from the prisons of subjugation and oppression.”

Al-Zarqawi adds: “It is regrettable and horrifying that the infidel crusader media were able, through the collusion of our countrymen, to influence the personality of the Muslims. Through the terrible torrent [of programs] on Arab and international channels, those managed to brainwash the Muslims, influence their thinking…and weaken their resolve.”

“A malicious, crusader enemy came with a terrible plot to control the nation and strengthen the Jews,” he notes.

Al-Zarqawi notes that some mediators tried to save Berg, “this lout,” and offered “whatever sums of money we could ask for.” He says that although the group needed money badly to use for “jihad,” “we preferred to avenge our sisters and nation.”

He criticizes the nation for doing nothing toward what is happening against “Muslims in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Indonesia, the Chechen Republic, and others.”

“What did the nation do for Mulla Omar, who sacrificed a whole country for the sake of one Muslim. He [Omar] is now a fugitive being chased in mountains. What did the nation do for the women of Sarajevo, Indonesia, Kashmir, Palestine, and Iraq, whose honor was defiled under the eyes and ears of the entire nation.”

Reiterating that the group refused money in return for the release of Berg, Al-Zarqawi says: “Although we believe it is permissible, we pledged not to demand ransom for any prisoner, no matter how influential he is. But we wanted to make the enemies of God learn that we have no leniency in our hearts toward them.”

Al-Zarqawi attacks the “defeatists” who “accepted disgrace.” Chief among those, he notes, is Harith al-Dari, secretary general of the Muslim Ulema Council in Iraq. He criticizes Al-Dari’s statements in which he condemned the killing of Berg and “the South Korean Christian missionary.”

Al-Zarqawi says Al-Dari should have instead felt ashamed of “being unable to help his Muslim sisters whose honor was defiled in Abu Ghurayb prison.”

He says Al-Dari’s only concern is to establish bonds with the Shiites, citing a meeting between Al-Dari and Jawad al-Khalisi [a Shiite figure].

Al-Zarqawi expresses surprise at the “patience and perseverance of the enemies of this religion in their war against Muslims.”

He cites a report recently published by The Daily Telegraph noting that “Iraq has become a fertile ground for Christian missions.” He cites members of Christian missions in the United States as saying that “the US occupation of Iraq has created an historic chance to guide the helpless among the Iraqi people, be they Muslims or Orthodox Christians.”

Al-Zarqawi cautions the “mujahidin” against believing the “hypocrites” who question the possibility of the restoration of the Muslim state and caliphate. He asks them to hope that God will enable them to “conquer the White House, the Kremlin, and London.”

In conclusion, Al-Zarqawi urges the “mujahidin” to sacrifice themselves for the sake of God. Speaking in a sobbing voice, Al-Zarqawi beseeches God to help the “mujahidin” and “grant us victory over the oppressors and unbelievers.”

The last five minutes of the tape feature a song sung in a Gulf dialect praising the “mujahidin.”

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