Al-Qaida 'documentary' depicts attacks on US troops09/08/2005 - 20:31:34
A slick two-hour al-Qaida propaganda “documentary” shows a multiethnic group of insurgents in Afghanistan – including Europeans, Arabs and other nationalities – preparing to attack US troops and showing off what they said was a captured US military laptop.
The video, obtained last week by Al-Arabiya television, features interviews with a masked British-accented man yelling “As you bomb us, you will be bombed,” and an apparent Pakistani fighter who pleads “Please come and join us for this holy jihad”.
The authenticity of the video could not be determined, and Air Force Capt. Lennea Montandon, a spokeswoman for US Central Command in Qatar, said the military would not comment because it had not seen the broadcast.
The programme would be the latest in a series of efforts by al Qaida to use the broadcast media and the internet to promote its cause.
The tape also would serve to bolster US concerns that the terrorist organisation of Osama bin Laden had regrouped and strengthened its forces as it increases attacks before coming elections in Afghanistan.
The three-part documentary titled “The War of the Oppressed People,” depicts what appears to be a few months in the lives of a group of multinational jihadists (Islamic holy warriors) in wilderness camps in the rugged Afghan mountains.
The men cook tea over campfires and kneel in prayer under the open skies, then duck into a makeshift classroom where an instructor draws on a white board to outline the coming ”Operation to Defeat the Crucifix” against US and allied forces.
In one scene, the tape claims al Qaida was responsible for shooting down a US Chinook helicopter, killing all 16 American troops on board.
The tape features a cameo by top-ranking al Qaida member Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, as well as shots of a US Air Force A-10 jet making bombing runs on a mountainside, and a close-up of a US soldier inexplicably quivering face down on the ground.
Al-Iraqi, speaking with a scarf hiding his face, says that the US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have created ”two fronts” for recruiting terrorists to the cause of bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
“Now all the world is united behind Mullah Omar and Sheik Osama,” he says with a tone of glee in his voice.
The programme includes interviews with bearded fighters in a combination of western military garb and eastern robes, claiming they are avenging the killing of Muslims by America, Britain, Israel and India.
“If this is terrorism and fundamentalism, then OK, we are terrorists and fundamentalists,” a Pakistani man who identifies himself as Bilal says in Urdu.
The tapes feature an intense diatribe by a British or Australian-accented man wearing a black robe, AK-47 and military-style vest, who warns westerners of “the lies of Blair and Bush”.
“The Muslim world is not your backyard,” he yells in a shrill and nervous sounding voice. “The honourable sos of Islam will not let you kill our sons. It is time for us to be equals. As you kill, you will be killed. As you bomb, you will be bombed.”
The warnings may have been aimed at the faraway nations of the west, but the action takes place in the mountains of Afghanistan.
One grisly segment shows a dead soldier lying face up, his bearded face caked in blood.
The soldier, perhaps an Afghani, is dressed in green camouflage fatigues with a red shoulder patch. The insurgents display his rifle, an American M-16 rifle.
In another scene, a group of bombmakers slice white bricks of plastic explosive, packing it into empty cooking oil cans along with heavy steel bolts and gobs of glue.
Green-hued night footage shows the men digging holes at the roadside and carefully planting the bombs.
Later, shaky footage follows a blue SUV as it travels along a remote dirt road. Text on the bottom of the screen says the car is carrying the head of security for Afghanistan’s Kunar province.
Without warning the blue vehicle is ripped apart in a giant fireball, with a flaming tyre blown skyward. The attack appears to depict the June 28 roadside bombing that killed a district police chief and two other officers.
Yet another scene pans across a cache of captured US gear, including a laptop, an M-16, military radios, a global positioning satellite display and the Department of Defence ID card of slain Navy SEAL Danny Phillip Dietz Jr.
Dietz, 25, of Littleton, Colo., was killed on June 28 after his three-man reconnaissance team came under attack in Kunar province. The Chinook helicopter was downed and the 16 troops killed as the craft was on its way to aid Dietz, killing all aboard.
An insurgent is shown poring through the captured laptop’s hard drive, zooming in on a US military document marked ”For Official Use Only” and map of Kabul marked with the locations of the US and British embassies.
The film is subtitled in Arabic, but carries interviews in English and French, the central Asian languages of Pashto and Urdu as well as Arabic spoken with Yemeni, Saudi and Iraqi accents.
The video lists as al-Sahab Productions, al-Qaida’s media organization, as the creator of the programme.
Baker Atyani, Al-Arabiya’s Asia bureau chief, said the network received the tape last week, but would not say how or where it was delivered.
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