The tape is reportedly posted on an Islamist website (file photo)
June 30, 2006 -- Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is reported to have issued a new audio tape.
The voice on the 20-minute recording pays tribute to Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq who was killed in a U.S. air strike earler this month.
"The lion of jihad, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, was killed in an American attack," the voice says. "We are for Allah and to him we shall return. We hope Allah will honor him and make him a martyr."
The authenticity of the tape, which was posted on an Islamist website today, could not be immediately verified.
Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi(undated AFP file photo)
COMMITTED TO TERROR: Jordan-born Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi has been among the most visible and ruthless leaders of Iraq's post-Saddam Hussein insurgency. In a tape released earlier this month, al-Zaqawi called on Iraqi Sunnis to fight against Shi'a and labeled Shi'ite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani an "atheist."
Insurgents loyal to Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda-affiliated organization have regained control over much of Al-Anbar Governorate, and are posing a major challenge to U.S. and Iraqi forces. A local security force established by tribesmen under an agreement with the U.S. military has all but ceased operating, after nearly a dozen tribal leaders were assassinated in revenge attacks by insurgents loyal to al-Zarqawi's Mujahedin Shura Council since January. Local tribal leaders now say they are afraid to be seen associating with U.S. forces, lest they be targeted by insurgents....(more)
A Timeline Of Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi
Could Afghan And Iraqi Insurgencies Muster Operational Ties?
Three Years After Operation Iraqi Freedom
Sunni Insurgents Turning Against Al-Zarqawi
Al-Zarqawi Brings Al-Qaeda's Jihad To Jordan
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to see RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.