Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the leader of al Qaeda's coalition organization, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), lashed out at U.S. President Barak Obama, calling him "a criminal" and "a liar" in a new audiotape released on the Internet today.
Al Baghdadi said the U.S. has been defeated in Iraq and cited President Obama's election as evidence of such defeat. "The American people acknowledged that its army has failed in Iraq, suffering serious economic and military losses," al Baghdadi said, adding that that was the reason for choosing a black man to become president.
According to al Baghdadi, Obama's withdrawal plan is nothing but "a deceitful label for a newly conceived colonial approach." He said Obama was merely trying to fool naïve Iraqis and make them believe that he intends to pullout his forces within three years, at the end of which he would come up with a new excuse to maintain his forces for another three years, and so on.
The ISI leader went on addressing President Obama, preaching about what he described as true heroism showcased by the militants, and the virtues of martyrdom, as opposed to that of U.S. troops. He specifically referred to a soldier called " Jordan " which he claims Obama had hailed as a hero in one of his speeches.
In the statement, al Baghdadi also announces the end of "Operation Dignity" which he launched in March 2007 to counter the security operations launched against al Qaeda operatives in the Sunni triangle. He also announced the launch of a new operation called "Harvesting Goodness," only saying that it was designed to address the current situation in Iraq without giving any further details.
Al Baghdadi ended his message with a call for unity among Sunni militant groups, inside Iraq and abroad. He called on all parties to turn a new leaf and join forces to face the new and serious challenges ahead. "We extend our hands to you with forgiveness and support to all Muslims in Mesopotamia and abroad, no matter what they have done, hoping to put all the problems of the past behind our backs."
The ISI has stepped out its attacks across Iraq in recent weeks, giving rise to speculations that it may be on the rebound after a long period of steady decline.