New Al Qaeda Video Surfaces

ByABC News
June 17, 2005, 6:57 PM

June 17, 2005 -- -- A video of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant that aired today on Arab satellite TV suggests there may be chinks in al Qaeda's armor, some experts believe.

In the video, Ayman al-Zawahri instructs Muslims not to be lulled into accepting peaceful democratic reforms being pushed by the United States and President Bush.

"There is no way to imagine reform," Zawahri says on the tape, "when our governments are being ruled from the American embassies in our countries, which stick their nose into all of our affairs."

The Arab satellite station al Jazeera played three clips on its evening newscast tonight, showing Zawahri next to his standard Kalashnikov automatic rifle.

"That's really him directing people to carry on the fight and that means one thing. That means you have to kill United States citizens, whether it's abroad or overseas," said Jack Cloonan, a former FBI agent who is now an ABC News consultant,

Zawahri, a former Egyptian medical doctor who is al Qaeda's No. 2 leader, makes specific reference to a demonstration in Cairo last month that was widely publicized because of tough tactics used against Egyptian female demonstrators.

"The removal of the invading crusader forces and the Jews from Muslim lands will not happen solely through demonstrations and shouting on the streets," Zawahri says in the video.

"This is his nightmare. Popular democracy, peaceful demonstrations, and al Qaeda would like to intervene in the process," said ABC News analyst Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle Eastern studies at Sarah Lawrence College.

"Reforms are taking place in the Middle East against al Qaeda's wishes, al Qaeda is being left behind," said Gerges. "Osama bin Laden and Zawahri realize they've lost touch in reality and they would like to have their own say."

In the video, bin Laden's No. 2 man also urges Palestinians to ignore the new democratic initiatives from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

"I ask them not to abandon their jihad, not to lay down their weapons," he says on the tape.