In the tape, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi also threatened more attacks against hotels and tourist sites and military bases in Jordan and threatened to kill Jordan's King Abdullah II.
"Your star is fading. You will not escape your fate, you descendant of traitors. We will be able to reach your head and chop it off," al-Zarqawi said, referring to the king.
Al-Zarqawi told Jordanians to stay away from bases used by U.S. forces in Jordan, hotels and tourist sites in Amman, the Dead Sea and the southern resort of Aqaba and embassies of governments participating in the war in Iraq — saying they would be targeted.
He underlined that al Qaeda in Iraq is not targeting fellow Muslims. "We want to assure you that ... you are more beloved to us than ourselves," he said, addressing Jordanians.
The audiotape, posted on an Islamic militant Web forum, came after widespread outrage over the Nov. 9 bombings against three Amman hotels that killed 59 people, 30 of them in a Jordanian-Palestinian wedding party held in a ballroom. Even contributors to militant Web forums — who lionize al-Zarqawi and praise his attacks — criticized the bombings, saying he should avoid civilians.
Al-Zarqawi insisted that the striking of the wedding party at the Radisson SAS hotel was a "lie" and a "forgery" by Jordanian security officials. The authenticity of the audiotape, but the voice resembled that of al-Zarqawi on previous tapes.
The Radisson bomber struck a hall where Israeli intelligence officials were meeting at the time, al-Zarqawi claimed. But part of the roof fell in on the wedding hall, either from the blast or even — he said — from a separate bomb placed in the roof, though not by al Qaeda.
"We didn't target them. Our target was halls being used by Zionist intelligence who were meeting there at the time," he said. "Our brothers knew their targets with great precision."
"God knows we chose these hotels only after more than two months of close observation (that proved) that these hotels had become headquarters for the Israeli and American intelligence," he said.
Al-Zarqawi accused the Jordanian government of hiding casualties among Israeli agents. "I defy the renegade government to show us the losses among the Jews," he said.
The Radisson attack involved two bombers — an Iraqi husband and wife. Witnesses told Jordanian security officials that the couple talked their way into the wedding, telling hotel employees they wanted to watch, then went to different sides of the hall. When the woman's explosives belt failed to go off, her husband told her to leave, then jumped on a table in the ballroom and set off his blast, Jordanian officials have said.
The whose wedding was being celebrated at one of three Amman hotels hit by suicide bombers last week died Thursday of her wounds.
In the tape, the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi listed the reasons his group — which has led a fearsome campaign of suicide bombings and other attacks against U.S. forces and Shiites in Iraq for two years — is now targeting Jordan.
He said Jordan has served as a protector for Israel and has allowed Israeli companies to take over its economy; allows the presence of "secret American prisons" on its territory where "dozens of mujahideen" are being held; and has become a "swamp of obscenity" allowing alcohol and prostitution at tourist sites.