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al-Qaida No. 2 Accuses U.S. in Audiotape

A new audiotape believed to be from al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri alleges that a U.S. plan for reform in the Middle East is really a bid to replace Arab leaders. The tape was broadcast Friday on the Arab satellite station Al-Arabiya. 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 change 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. “The so-called American reforms will not bring to us our independence or our dignity.” “As for the human rights they are talking about, they mean the human rights of criminals (to) humiliate the Muslim human being,” the voice said. Muslims and Arabs have recently been outraged by revelations of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers, including forcing them to denounce Islam or perform acts forbidden within their religion, including eating pork, drinking liquor or masturbation. Full Story

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