Zawahri praises Dadullah, asks followers to fight
DUBAI: Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri on Wednesday eulogised Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah who was killed in Afghanistan and urged his followers to continue his fight against US-led forces.
“The commander of the martyrdom-seekers has passed on ... a martyr ... having prepared, equipped and left behind hundreds of martyrdom-seekers who impatiently wait to swoop down on the Crusaders and their helpers,” Zawahri said in an audiotape posted on websites usually used by Al Qaeda-linked groups.
“So do not depart from his path, and continue his march, and be among the patient reward-seekers, for victory is in the hour of patience.” It was not immediately possible to verify that the voice on the tape, accompanied by a photograph of Zawahri and footage of Dadullah with his fighters, was that of Osama Bin Laden’s lieutenant.
Dadullah’s death in a clash with Western and Afghan forces this month is widely regarded as the biggest blow to the Taliban since the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
“If the martyrdom of ... Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was the beginning of the massive breakdown of the Americans in Iraq, then the martyrdom of ... Mullah Dadullah will break the back of the Crusaders and their helpers in Afghanistan and hasten their imminent defeat,” he said.
The footage showed Dadullah greeting and chatting to fighters, and firing guns. Zawahri said Western and Afghan forces attacked the Taliban commander twice before they were able to kill him. reuters