SLUG: 2-306126 al-Qaida Threat (S-O)
INTRO: An audiotape purported to be by the second in command of the al-Qaida terror group has been broadcast on an Arab television station. It warns there will be retaliation if any harm comes to the detainees from Afghanistan being held at a U-S naval base in Cuba. V-O-A's Greg LaMotte has the details from our Middle East bureau in Cairo.
TEXT: The man speaking on the tape is said to be that of Ayman al-Zawahri, a top deputy of al-Qaida terror network leader Osama bin Laden.
The voice warns that the United States will pay a high price if harm comes to the detainees from the Afghanistan conflict being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The taped message, broadcast on the Dubai-based Arab satellite T-V station al-Arabiya, said the real battle against the United States has yet to begin.
The United States is holding more than 600 people, many of them suspected al-Qaida terrorists, at the U-S naval base in Guantanamo Bay. Last month U-S officials announced that as many as six of the detainees may face a military trial that could result in death sentences. But since then Washington has said it would not seek death sentences for three
of the suspects.
Washington blames al-Qaida for the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States. (SIGNED)
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