Abdullah bin Rashid al-Baghdadi, Emir of the Iraqi insurgent umbrella Mujahideen Shura Council, vows the jihad will continue with greater force despite Zarqawi’s death
His 14-minute message to the “Islamic Ummah” was read out by video Friday night, June 16, by the Mujahideen Council spokesman Abu Ammar al-Dulaymi. debkafile cited al-Baghdadi as new chief of al Qaeda in Iraq after the death of Abu Musab al Zarqawi on May 7. The taped message reinforces the impression that he has assumed his mantle as the new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.
The audio features the image of Zarqawi from his April tape, his dead face and the logo of the Council (picture).
“Crusaders,” Iranians and Shiites” are warned of an impending attack, made all the fiercer by Zarqawi’s death. Abdullah Rashid declares: In the coming days, the so-called government (of Iraq) and the Crusaders’ forces will see the truth in this, and will understand exactly what it means. There are attacks and battles between us in which they will taste the bitterness of killings and will drink from the cup of death, and will carry their defeat with them”
Al Baghdadi holds the dead al Qaeda leader up as a paragon. “His loss will not be a source of weakness. He will remain as the Mujahideen’s symbol for bravery, steadiness, fighting and death…” His death will allow Muslims who hold back from jihad an opportunity to reevaluate their position. “The jihad,” he vows, “will continue until Judgment Day”.