Published November 29, 2004
CAIRO, Egypt – Top Usama bin Laden lieutenant Ayman Al-Zawahiri (search) vowed in a videotape excerpt shown Monday to continue fighting the United States until its policies change.
Al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's right-hand man, referred to the recent U.S. presidential election on the tape, shown on Al-Jazeera television. CIA officials told FOX News they believed with a "high degree of confidence" that the figure speaking was bin Laden's No. 2, and that the video was probably recorded before the Nov. 2 vote, when President Bush (search) was re-elected, defeating Sen. John Kerry (search), D-Mass.
"The results of the elections do not matter for us," al-Zawahiri said in the three-minute excerpt. "Vote [for] whoever you want, Bush, Kerry or the devil himself. This does not concern us. What concerns us is to purge our land from the aggressors."
Al-Zawahiri also accused the United States of trying to coerce the Muslim world through force to satisfy Israel and to achieve its own interests. He said the invasion of Iraq was only a prelude to what the whole Muslim world might be subjected to by the United States.
He advised the Americans to choose between one of two things: "Either you choose to treat us with respect and based on an exchange of interests ... or we will continue to fight you until you change your policies."
The bearded and bespectacled al-Zawahiri sat before a white background, half-covered with a blanket. His voice sounded calm and steady, as in previous tapes.
Days before the U.S. presidential election, bin Laden said in video footage that the United States must stop threatening the security of Muslims if it wanted to avoid "another Manhattan" — referring to the Sept. 11 attacks.
While bin Laden did not directly warn of new attacks, the Al Qaeda leader and Sept. 11 mastermind warned, "There are still reasons to repeat what happened."
The United States has offered a $25 million reward for the capture of bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, who were believed to be hiding in the tribal areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
FOX News' Bret Baier, Ian McCaleb and The Associated Press contributed to this report.