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New al-Zawahiri tape lashes U.S. policy


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Ayman al-Zawahiri
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(CNN) -- Osama bin Laden's No. 2 man in al Qaeda lashed out at U.S. efforts to extend democracy around the world in a videotape aired Sunday on Arabic-language TV station Al Jazeera, saying those efforts "will end with your defeat, the killing of your sons and the destruction of your economy."

It could not be determined when or where the Ayman al-Zawahiri tape was recorded, but in a one-minute segment aired on Al Jazeera the terror chief said it has been about three years since the United States started sending Muslims to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The United States did move Taliban detainees early in 2002 from Afghanistan to the U.S. detention facility on Guantanamo Bay, where there have been allegations that some of them were tortured.

"Guantanamo exposes the reality of the reform and the democracy that America is trying to spread in the region," he said, a possible reference to President Bush's recent speeches laying out his vision for U.S. international policy.

Al-Zawahiri added that if people believe the "so-called elected governments will protect you, you are wrong. This new crusade will end with your defeat, the killing of your sons and the destruction of your economy."

He said the "security of the West" is based on how it deals with Muslims "and ending all foreign occupation."

Al-Zawahiri, addressing the camera directly, was dressed in traditional Muslim garb including a headdress. What appeared to be a rifle was propped against the wall behind him.

His comments are similar to those he has made in previous tapes.

U.S. intelligence analysts have determined with a "high degree of confidence" that the videotape is in fact al-Zawahiri, a U.S. intelligence official said Monday.

CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report.


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