updated 6/11/2004 6:39:33 PM ET 2004-06-11T22:39:33

An audiotape purportedly from al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri, broadcast Saturday on an Arab satellite station, accused the United States of trying to replace Arab governments through its plan for regional reforms.

The comments appeared to be in response to an agreement this week by the Group of Eight industrialized nations on a U.S. plan to promote democratic reform in the Middle East.

"America has no relation with reform. What it is really looking for is to replace the existing regimes with new ones," said the voice on the tape, played on Al-Arabiya. "The so-called American reforms will not bring to us our independence or our dignity."

The tape said real reform must come from within the Arab people.

"It starts by implanting the will to resist, in our souls and the souls of our children and the next generations," said the voice on the tape.

The station said it planned to broadcast more of the tape in the coming hours. Editor-in-Chief Salah Negm refused to say how Al-Arabiya received the 10-minute audiotape.

The CIA and other intelligence agencies are analyzing the tape to determine if it is al-Zawahri, said a U.S. official who speaks to reporters only on condition of anonymity.

Middle East reforms have been a dominant topic in the region in recent months, climaxing this week with the G-8 agreement.

Most Arab countries were cool to the proposal, insisting that reforms must come from within and not be imposed by the West.

The last tape believed to be from al-Zawahri was broadcast on Al-Jazeera satellite network on March 25 in which he urged Pakistanis to overthrow President Pervez Musharraf. The CIA said the tape was probably authentic.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments