CAIRO (AP) – Al-Qaida deputy Ayman al-Zawahri said his terror network carried out the July 7 London bombings.
The statement was broadcast yesterday, marking the group’s first direct claim of responsibility for the attacks that killed 52 people.
“The blessed London attack was one which al-Qaida was honored to launch against the British Crusader’s arrogance and against the American Crusader aggression on the Islamic nation for 100 years,” al-Zawahri said in the tape aired on Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV.
“In their final testament, the heroic brothers in the London attacks – provided great lessons to the Islamic nation and Muslims in Pakistan to oppose the infidels,” said al-Zawahri, who was shown in the tape wearing a white turban and speaking to someone who was interviewing him off camera.
In another tape aired Sept. 2, al-Zawahri, who is thought to be hiding along the rugged Afghan-Pakistani border, issued a veiled claim of responsibility for the attacks that also killed the four bombers.
Al-Zawahri also criticized the legitmacy of Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections Sunday.
He said they were held “under the terror of the lords of war,” an apparent reference to the country’s government.