CAIRO, Egypt – An alleged Al Qaeda videotape aired Monday on Arab television purported to show roadside bomb attacks by the terror group and its Taliban allies against U.S. and Afghan forces in the violent border region of Afghanistan.
The video showed a militant preparing a mine for a bomb attack. Sitting next to him on a bench was a boy who appeared to be about 4 or 5 years old, holding a pistol with ammunition belts draped over his shoulders and his face covered by a headscarf wrapped around his head. The boy sat and watched as the man, also masked, wrapped a mine in transparent tape.
The anchorwoman of Al-Jazeera, which aired the less than two-minute video, said it purported to show bomb attacks against two U.S. military vehicles and one Afghan military vehicle that took place last month in Afghanistan's Konar province, on the eastern border with Pakistan.
The authenticity of the video's content could not be independently confirmed. The footage appeared to be a propaganda video. Al Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups often post such videos on the Web to show off their attacks, rally supporters and tout their strength. The tape bore the logo of Al-Sahab productions, Al Qaeda's video-producing arm.
The tape showed what appeared to be three separate attacks: In each one, a military jeep or truck is seen driving down a mountain road, then is hit by an explosion that flips the vehicle over. The footage also showed a helicopter landing, and Al-Jazeera said the tape purported that the aircraft was evacuating casualties. No injured personnel can be seen in any of the footage.
The tape appeared four days after Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a powerful Afghan warlord, declared his support for Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network in a video also aired by Al-Jazeera. In recent weeks, bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri each issued separate messages to rally Muslims to fight U.S. and allied forces.
Monday's video comes amid a spike of Taliban-led suicide bombings and ambushes against coalition and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan, and an ongoing U.S.-Afghan anti-militant operation in Kunar province. On May 5, a U.S. military CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in the rugged mountains of Kunar, killing 10 American soldiers, but the military said the crash was not caused by hostile fire.