Al-Qaida tape calls for new offensive

Sunday, April 20, 2008

CAIRO, Egypt -- A man claiming to be the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq vowed in an audiotape released Saturday to launch a monthlong offensive against U.S. troops.

There was no independent confirmation that the voice belonged to Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, but it sounded exactly like the one heard on previous audiotapes.

"We call on our beloved ones ... that each unit should present the head of an American as a gift to the charlatan Bush ... in addition to one of the apostate servants and slaves of the awakening [councils] during a one-month period," he said in the tape, posted on an Internet site known for its militant contents.

He made clear that the 30-day period begins from the day of the audiotape's release.

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