CAIRO, Egypt – Usama bin Laden will issue a videotaped message paying tribute to slain Al Qaeda in Iraq chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a message posted on an Islamic militant Web site said Wednesday.
The message did not say when the video would be posted or whether bin Laden himself would appear in it. The Al Qaeda leader has issued three audiotapes this year but has not appeared in a video since one issued on Oct. 29, 2004.
A similar "advertisement" was issued for an al-Zarqawi tribute put out last week by bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The advertisement appeared on the Web a day before the video was posted on Friday.
Al-Zarqawi, who headed one of Iraq's most notorious insurgent groups, swore loyalty to bin Laden but is believed to have had sometimes rocky ties with Al Qaeda's core leadership, based in the Afghan-Pakistani border region. The Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi was killed in a June 7 U.S. airstrike northeast of Baghdad.
The note for the bin Laden video was posted on a Web forum where militants often post messages. It was in the form of a blue banner signed by As-Sahab, the Al Qaeda production branch.
The banner flashed the message, "Good News Soon," followed by a picture of a smiling al-Zarqawi and the words, "A tribute to the martyr of the Islamic nation and prince of the martyrdom-seekers, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, God rest his soul, from Sheik Usama bin Laden, God preserve him." The banner then flashes a picture of bin Laden.