Bin Laden Hails Slain Zarqawi As 'Lion'

The Associated Press
Thursday, June 29, 2006; 10:31 PM

CAIRO, Egypt -- Osama bin Laden praised slain al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as the "lion of holy war" in a new videotape posted on the Internet on Friday.

The 19-minute message shows an old still photo of bin Laden in a split-screen next to images of al-Zarqawi taken from a previous video. A voice resembling bin Laden's narrates a tribute to the Jordanian-born militant, who was killed in a June 7 airstrike northeast of Baghdad.

"Our Islamic nation was surprised to find its knight, the lion of jihad (holy war), the man of determination and will, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, killed in a shameful American raid," bin Laden said.

It was the fourth message put out this year by al-Qaida leader bin Laden. All have featured his voice in audiotapes. New video images of him have not appeared since October 2004.


© 2006 The Associated Press