Accessibility links

Purported al-Qaida Tape Urges Overthrow of Pakistan Government

Two Arabic television stations broadcast a tape Sunday allegedly made by the number two leader of the al-Qaida organization. The speaker on the tape calls on Pakistanis to overthrow their president.

The speaker on the tape was identified by the satellite TV stations as Ayhman al-Zawahri, who is believed to be Osama bin Laden's top deputy and second in command of the al-Qaida network.

The speaker accuses Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf of planning to send troops to Iraq and of helping the United States to defeat the Taleban in Afghanistan. The tape urges Pakistanis to overthrow their president and replace him with someone who would better defend Islam and Muslims.

The speaker on the tape said the U.S.-led battle against terrorism is instead a Christian-Zionist crusade to do away with Islam and Muslims.

The taped message appears to have been recently recorded because the speaker refers to events that took place earlier this month. However, the identity of the speaker has not been verified.

The audio recording was broadcast Sunday by al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya television stations, both of which have routinely broadcast messages allegedly from al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.