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Bin Laden's No. 2 releases poetry tape

Al-Zawahiri recording doesn't mention CIA attempt to kill him

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An audiotape released on the Internet features Ayman al-Zawahiri reciting poetry to jihadists.

SPECIAL REPORT

(CNN) -- With no mention of last week's attempt on his life, Ayman al-Zawahiri recited poetry to jihadists on a 17-minute audiotape that appeared on the Internet on Friday.

Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant was the target of a January 13 CIA airstrike on a home in Damadola, Pakistan, where al Qaeda members were believed to be attending a dinner.

Friday's tape makes no reference to dates, so it is unknown when al-Zawahiri recorded it. The Egyptian doctor has released numerous taped messages in recent months.

A U.S. counterterrorism official said "it could be old tape" because there is no reference to recent events. This official added that he doesn't "read much significance into it."

On Friday's tape -- which comes one day after a tape was released by bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader's first in a year -- al-Zawahiri recited a poem called "Tears in the Eyes of Time."

It is posted on numerous jihadist Web sites and described by the radical Web sites as a eulogy for the martyrs in the crusaders' attacks on Afghanistan

He dedicated his message to the "mujahedeen brothers in Palestine, Iraq and Chechnya, and to the lions who are targeting the crusaders in Afghanistan in its villages and mountains."

U.S. officials have said that between four and eight al Qaeda members were killed in the CIA attack in Damadola, near the Afghanistan border.

Pakistani officials said 18 people were killed in the airstrike, including five women and five children, which has prompted massive protests across the country. Initial reports suggested that al-Zawahiri also was killed. (Full story)

Since the airstrike, intelligence analysts have been searching for evidence that indicates what happened to al-Zawahiri. Officials say they expect to learn he was not killed.

CNN's Octavia Nasr and David Ensor contributed to this report.

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