Al Qaida’s No 2 has issued a new audiotape threatening to retaliate against Britain for having honoured novelist Salman Rushdie, a US-based intelligence monitoring group said.
Ayman al-Zawahri’s 20 minute speech was entitled Malicious Britain And Its Indian Slaves.
It was produced by as-Sahab, the multimedia wing of al Qaida, to be distributed to extremist websites, said the US-based SITE intelligence group, which monitors al Qaida messages.
The authenticity of the tape could not be independently confirmed.
Osama bin Laden’s deputy lashed out at Britain for having awarded a knighthood to Rushdie last month, saying it was defying the Islamic world by granting the honour to the author of The Satanic Verses, deemed to insult Islam.
A “very precise response” is in preparation to retaliate against this offence, al-Zawahri was quoted as saying by SITE.