Al Qaeda Message Surfaces Criticizing Obama

Number two leader issues warnings, racial slurs.

ByABC News
November 19, 2008, 10:37 AM

November 19, 2008— -- Al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, surfaced today with the release of an audio tape that harshly criticizes U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, calling him a "House Negro" who represents "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X.

"You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand in the ranks of the enemies of the Muslims," Zawahiri says to Obama in the tape, which was posted with English subtitles.

Zawahiri condemns Obama's plan to move troops from Iraq to Afghanistan as a policy "destined for failure before it was born" and tells Obama that "a heavy legacy of failure and crimes" awaits him.

"And be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them," Zawahiri states.

Providing further evidence that Zawahiri is alive and hiding, the tape comes after increased efforts by the Bush administration to hunt down al Qaeda officials. In a three-month U.S. offensive against al Qaeda's once safe haven in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the CIA's unmanned armed Predator aircrafts have carried out a major bombing campaign, hitting at least 24 suspected terror targets since August.

"We force them to spend more time and resources on self-preservation," said CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden in a speech last week. "And that distracts them – at least partially and at least temporarily for the time – from laying the groundwork for the next attack."

A second part of the U.S. offensive has been a cyber attack on al Qaeda's normal websites that began just before Sept. 11. Today's tape was released on internet message boards, a new and unusual distribution method despite U.S. Intel efforts to shut down the al Qaeda internet distribution system.

"The tape proves they can still get their videos out, which means their failure to comment before the election was likely intentional and possibly due to disagreements in al Qaeda on strategy," said former national security advisor and ABC News Consultant Richard Clarke.