Al Qaeda's deputy leader called for attacks against Gulf oil facilities and urged insurgent groups in Iraq to unite to drive out American forces, according to a videotape posted on the Internet Wednesday.
The posting was a full version of a video by al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri that was issued on Sept. 19, excerpts of which were broadcast by the Arab television network Al-Jazeera at the time. The network aired more excerpts Wednesday, originally presenting all of the footage as new. A newscaster later told viewers some of the excerpts had previously been broadcast.
"I call on the holy warriors to concentrate their campaigns on the stolen oil of the Muslims, most of the revenues of which go to the enemies of Islam," al-Zawahri, the Egyptian deputy of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, said in a portion of the tape not previously broadcast.
Al-Zawahri also said that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was alive and well and leading the holy war against the West.
"Thanks be to God, (al Qaeda's) prince, Sheik Osama bin Laden, is still, God protect him, leading the holy war," al-Zawahri said in the September footage.
Al-Zawahri, who was wearing a white robe and black turban and was seated before a pale blue sheet, spoke to an off-camera interviewer. He said "the enemies of Islam" were exploiting oil with "incomparable greed, and we have to stop that theft with all we can save this fortune for the nation of Islam."
In the full version of the tape, which was posted on an Islamic Web site known for carrying statements from extremist groups, al-Zawahri called on Iraqi insurgent groups to unite.
Iraqi Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen, "whose hands were not tainted by Americans," should come together to fill "the gap that will be left by the Americans departure" from Iraq, he said.
The full video includes quotes from al-Zawahri on September elections in Afghanistan and on the July 7 London bombings that appeared in the excerpts aired by Al-Jazeera on Sept. 19.