CAIRO: Al-Qaeda terrorist network second-in-command Ayman Al-Zawahri slammed reform advocate Mohamed ElBaradei in a message marking the 9/11 anniversary.
A considerable part of a 44-minute audio clip posted Wednesday on Islamist websites featuring Al-Zawahri described the supporters of ElBaradei as adopting “a disabled trend which claims to strive for change by recognizing secular constitutions and joining rigged elections under their rules.”
“In fact, they have even strived for change under the leadership of the secularist … ElBaradei [also the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency], who fell on us from the sky of the American providence to direct the Egyptian opposition on behalf of the US,” the Egyptian-born Al-Zawahri said.
“The story of ElBaradei and [President Hosni] Mubarak … is an old/new American game,” Al-Zawahri added throughout the recording titled, “A Vicarious Nation … and Broken Crusade: Nine Years after the Star of the Crusader Campaign.”
Al-Zawahri further accused the US of using Mubarak as an aide in “the carrying out all its dirty crimes in the region.”
“When Mubarak turned into a symbol of corruption, criminality … and treason, and when the US sensed that [the inheritance of power] may stir problems [in Egypt], it decided to experiment with a parallel [plan] for achieving its goals … through the emissary of American providence … ElBaradei,” Al-Zawahri noted.
According to the militant leader, it is “either the US propels ElBaradei to power via eastern-style elections like the case in Pakistan or keep him as an opposition leader to be a thorn in the side of [the president’s 47-year old son] Gamal Mubarak.”
Earlier in July, Al-Zawahri criticized ElBaradei in another recording saying that he would not be able to bring about change in Egypt.
Nevertheless, analysts do not take Al-Zawahri’s comments seriously.
“Al-Qaeda resumed criticizing the internal situation in Egypt on ideological and political basis… [not religious ones],” said Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies researcher Nabil Abdel-Fatah. “Yet they lack the deep knowledge of the Egyptian political life.”
“ElBaradei is a secular model who expresses a western, American trend. Al-Qaeda’s accusations against him are similar to those raised by several [pro-regime] circles in Egypt,” he added.
“[But] do others work based on Al-Qaeda’s Islamist ideologies?”