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Zawahri Insults Obama With Racial Term

By VOA News
19 November 2008

Al-Qaida's first reaction to Barack Obama's election as U.S. president refers to him by a derogatory racial term and attacks his policies as anti-Islamic.

In a posting on a militant Web site Wednesday, a voice identified as the terror network's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, refers to Mr. Obama in Arabic as a "house slave." The posting's English caption translates it as "house Negro," a phrase used to refer to blacks co-opted by whites.

Zawahri also insults other prominent African Americans - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

U.S. State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack called the message "despicable." There was no immediate reaction from Mr. Obama's transition team.

The personal attacks also include a rebuke to Mr. Obama for turning his back on his father's Muslim roots.

The al-Qaida recording says Mr. Obama's support of Israel confirms his hostility toward Islam. The posting accompanies the accusation with a picture of Mr. Obama wearing a skull cap at a Jewish holy site in Jerusalem.

Zawahri also says that President-elect Obama's plan to increase the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is doomed.

Mr. Obama has said he would return America's military focus to Afghan insurgents and the fight against al-Qaida after what the president-elect has called the distraction of Iraq.

Zawahri said that Mr. Obama should beware that "the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh" of American soldiers "to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them."

Zawahri refers to a specific U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan on November 5, showing that the message was taped after Mr. Obama's election.

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