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Homeland Security


Al-Qaida's Number 2 Assails Pakistani Government

VOA News
15 September 2010

Al-Qaida's number-two leader says Pakistan's flood relief efforts have been a failure and urged Pakistanis to confront their government.

Ayman al-Zawahri made the statements during a 44-minute speech posted on militant websites Wednesday, apparently to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people.

The al-Qaida leader accused the Pakistani government of being corrupt and said officials are more interested in enriching themselves than in helping the people.

Zawahri also called Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari, a "thief" and accused him of being preoccupied with mending his ties with the West.

Many Pakistanis have criticized the government's relief efforts, and some have accused officials of keeping supplies for themselves. The government has denied those allegations.

Western nations, including the United States, have warned that militants may try to exploit the disaster in order to win favor with the people.

July's record flooding in Pakistan killed more than 1,700 people and affected nearly 20 million others.

Zawahri is believed to be hiding in northwestern Pakistan's tribal region near the Afghanistan border with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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