Homeland Security - Office of Intelligence and Analysis
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Situational Awareness Note
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(U//FOUO) Prepared by DHS/I&A Intelligence Watch and Warning Division and the FBI Counter Terrorism Division. ITACG reviewed this product.
(U//FOUO) Al Qa‘ida Deputy Al-Zawahiri Dubs Abu Layth al-Libi a Martyr to Motivate Followers
(U//FOUO) Al-Qa‘ida’s multimedia wing Al-Sahab released on 27 February 2008 a video featuring al-Qa‘ida‘s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri eulogizing senior al-Qa‘ida military commander Abu-Layth al-Libi. Contrary to published media reports, al-Zawahiri does not “promise revenge” for al-Libi’s death, but rather uses his “martyrdom” to inspire and unite disparate affiliates and sympathizers. Al-Zawahiri makes no explicit threats.
(U//FOUO) In the approximately 10-minute video—al-Zawahiri’s first in 2008—he condemned Americans and Pakistanis, who hunted al-Libi. He warns Americans and their agents that “every time a martyr falls, another martyr grabs the banner from him.” He goes on to say that he does not see death as a disgrace and “no chief of ours had died a natural death, nor has our blood been spilled without a response.”
(U//FOUO) He also condemned a controversial book by Shaykh Sayyid Imam al-Sharif entitled “The Rationalization of Jihad” as Western propaganda.
(U//FOUO) Zawahiri's statement was followed by an advertisement for his soon-to-be-released book or letter entitled "Exoneration" -- a refutation of Shaykh Sayyid Imam al-Sharif's arguments. The advertisement included an excerpt from "Exoneration."
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY