KUWAIT CITY – Followers of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search) released a CD-ROM urging Muslim men to take up arms against the "crusaders" in Iraq and threatening to kill Iraq's interim prime minister.
The 45-minute CD-ROM, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, appeared aimed at recruiting potential fighters and included claims of responsibility for attacks in Iraq and footage of bombings against U.S. forces and other targets in Iraq.
The release of the CD, the contents of which could not be independently authenticated, was reported Friday by Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyassah, which provided a copy to the AP. It was not clear where the CD was produced.
Titled "The Winds of Victory," the recording shows fighters purportedly from al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad (search) group undergoing weapons training in different locations, some apparently in the desert and others in grassy areas. It also contains footage taken from inside cars following militants in Iraq conducting attacks, some of which has been previously aired by TV stations.
The Kuwaiti newspaper said the professionally produced CD-ROM is being circulated among fundamentalists in this oil-rich country, which borders Iraq.
A narrator on the film urges Muslim men to join the fight against U.S.-led forces in Iraq, saying "get up friends, God has opened the doors of paradise [to martyrs]."
The CD-ROM also repeats Tawhid and Jihad's threat to kill Ayad Allawi (search), the interim Iraqi prime minister, saying, "You escaped ... several times from tight traps, but we promise you to go on [trying] until the end."
Footage used shows a car exploding in a street as people pass by. The narrator claims this attack was the May 2004 car bomb assassination of Iraqi Governing Council president Abdel-Zahraa Othman, better known as Izzadine Saleem.
The production starts with scenes of bombing raids conducted during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein more than a year ago.
The footage shows injured Iraqi children, American soldiers searching houses as frightened Iraqis leave their homes with arms raised and photos showing the mistreatment of Iraq prisoners by American captors at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.
"Whenever I remember our ... sisters in the prisons of the crusaders ... I feel the earth moving underneath me and I promise God to take revenge," the narrator on the CD-ROM.
The recording identifies an Egyptian man, named Abu Farida al-Masri, as being responsible for the Aug. 19, 2003, truck bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad. Twenty three people, including the U.N. representative in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, died in that attack.
Al-Zarqawi's group has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly attacks across Iraq, including the beheadings of U.S. businessman Nicholas Berg, South Korean translator Kim Sun-il and Bulgarian truck driver Georgi Lazov.