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Bin Laden's deputy surfaces in new recording

Al-Qaida's number two Ayman al-Zawahri released an audio recording on Wednesday  calling on Pakistanis to revolt in the wake of severe flooding that's devastated the country.
Image: Ayman al-Zawahri
Ayman al-Zawahri is believed to be hiding in mountains along the Afghan-Pakistani border.Intelcenter / Al-sahab Via Ap / AP file
/ Source: Reuters

Al-Qaida's number two Ayman al-Zawahri released an audio recording on Wednesday accusing the Pakistani government of responding too slowly to severe flooding in the country and calling on Pakistanis to revolt.

Al-Zawahri, believed to be hiding in mountains along the Afghan-Pakistani border, spoke in a 44-minute recording which appeared to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S.

"The primary concern of the ruling class in the government and army of Pakistan is filling their domestic and foreign bank accounts with dollars, and as far as they are concerned, Pakistan and its people can go to hell," he said.

More than 1,700 people have been killed and millions displaced in the flooding, which began six weeks ago and has caused an estimated $43 billion in damage.

Pakistan's military has taken the lead in providing relief, but the civilian government has been criticized for its sluggish response.

Entitled "A Victorious Ummah, A Broken Crusade: Nine Years After the Start of the Crusader Campaign," the recording was posted on Islamist websites often used by al-Qaida.

'Muslim-killing campaign'
Al-Zawahri called on Pakistanis and Turkish Muslims to rise up against their government because of their involvement in Afghanistan.

"The Muslim Turkish people must confront the behavior of their government, which is participating in the Muslim-killing campaign in Afghanistan," he said. "The same holds true for the government of Pakistan."

Last year, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, believed to be hiding in the same area, released an audio tape marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, but no such message has appeared from him so far this year.