Text of remarks purportedly made by top Al Qaeda official Ayman Al-Zawahri in an audiotape aired Sunday by Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television. The text is translated from the Arabic by The Associated Press. There was no immediate way to confirm the tape's authenticity.
Muslim brothers everywhere ... America has announced it will start putting Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo on trial before military courts that could sentence them to death. I swear by the almighty God ... that Crusader America will pay dearly for any harm done to any of the Muslim prisoners it is holding. With God's help, all those who helped it (America) capture a prisoner or hand him to it or to any of its agents will also pay the price. Let it be clear to those who conspire with America that America cannot protect itself, let alone protect others.
Let every prisoner held by the infidels be sure that his release is a debt hanging from the neck of every mujahedeen (fighter), and that the end of the ordeal is close, God willing. (And let every prisoner) know that his brothers, the mujahedeen, have not forgotten that they will avenge him from the new Crusaders. When America shackles the Muslim prisoners and tortures them, it is torturing itself. When it puts them on trial, it is putting its children on trial, and when it convicts them it is convicting its people.
We don't expect any justice, fairness, or commitment to morals or beliefs from America. It has shown the world an example of making light with principles, even those they were bound to by agreements. But we tell America one thing: what you have seen until now is nothing but the first skirmishes. The real battle has not started yet.
The American people whose armies have killed our women and children, if it is keen on its future and the future of its generations, has to take initiative and follow reason and logic before it is too late. They have been forewarned ... Muslims everywhere, America and its agents are torturing your prisoners. Show them how you will avenge them.