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Al-Zawahiri condemns Mideast talks

  • Story Highlights
  • Audio message from Osama bin Laden deputy criticizes Annapolis talks
  • Ayman al-Zawahiri accuses Palestinian leader Abbas of being "traitor"
  • Message taken from Islamist Web sites
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(CNN) -- An audio message purportedly from Osama bin Laden's deputy has criticized Middle East leaders who attended last month's Annapolis peace summit, reminding them they are fighting a "single jihad" against the "Zionist enemy."

An image of al-Zawahiri taken from an earlier videotape.

The message from Ayman al-Zawahiri was obtained from radical Islamist Web sites. It has not been independently verified by CNN.

In the 20-minute message, al-Zawahiri accuses Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, of being a "traitor" who has taken his people to the brink of disaster.

"I'm stunned at the politicians' stance who gave up four-fifths of Palestine, granting Mahmoud Abbas the authority to negotiate ... and then they finally cried out warning and condemning the conference after they saw with their own eyes the disaster which ... (Abbas) is driving them to," al-Zawahiri said.

"Is the traitor Mahmoud Abbas still the 'Brother President' after they condemned the conference? Is Mahmoud Abbas, the Agent, still the one invited for the dialogue, and Mahmoud Abbas the sellout is still the one they consider legitimate.

"Isn't it time for you to go back to the pure creed, which doesn't know compromises and political tricks and diplomatic ploys which obstructs religion and life?" he asks.

The message was recorded over a still image of Zawahiri.

Following the conference in Annapolis, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas announced they had agreed on a framework for a peace deal.

Palestinian and Israeli leaders said they were optimistic they can seal a long-elusive peace agreement by 2009, but said that any deal needs to be a package crafted through tradeoffs and concessions.

"Isn't it time for you to announce it loud and clear that you are Mujahedeen who seek the rule of Sharia and disbelieve in the rule of the crowds or any rule except the rule of the Quran and Sunna?

"And that you are seeking the establishment of the Caliphates, and that you fight to raise Allah's word and to have all the religion for Allah. And that you seek to liberate every occupied inch of the Islamic Lands from Andalusia to Chechnya.

"And that you and the rest of the Mujahideen and the Muslims are fighting a single Jihad for one nation against a single Crusader Zionist enemy."

Al-Zawahiri's last message was posted on the 4th of July in a 94 minute videotape titled "The Advice of One Concerned."

In it, al-Zawahiri calls for a more radical stance against the United States and its allies on a number of Middle Eastern topics. The video takes the format of a "state of the community" address, and includes clips from news broadcasts.

In a May 5 videotape on the Web, al Qaeda's No. 2 leader addresses the Iraqi troop pullout timetable issue, according to terrorism expert Laura Mansfield.

Investigators believe al-Zawahiri played an important role in the September 11, 2001 attacks, and he has been indicted in the United States for his alleged role in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told CNN in an interview broadcast Sunday that he believes bin Laden and al-Zawahiri are most likely hiding in Afghanistan, rather than Pakistan.

But he said if they are in Pakistan, his military will find them without U.S. military involvement. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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