Al-Qaeda Denounces Obama

Deputy warns Muslims of 'polished words' before Cairo speech
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2009 7:25 PM CDT
Ayman al-Zawahiri, in an undated video image.   (AP Photo/ HO/ IntelCenter, File )

(Newser) – Al-Qaeda isn't waiting for President Obama to address the Muslim world to criticize him. In a new video, the group's No. 2 leader called Obama a "criminal" on the eve of his visit to the Mideast and said his "bloody images" cannot be concealed by "theatrical visits or polished words," the BBC reports. The president plans a major address to Muslims in Cairo on Thursday.

Ayman al-Zawahiri called Egyptian officials who will welcome Obama "slaves" and said they are complicit in turning Egypt into an "international station of torture in America's war on Islam." Some analysts think the new al-Qaeda message is a sign the group is worried that Obama may sway minds, notes the AP.