DUBAI: A militant website published a video message from Abu Yahya al-Libi, the al Qaeda deputy leader whom Washington had reported as killed in a drone strike in Pakistan last week. The site did not say when the footage was recorded, monitoring services said.
Both the SITE Monitoring Service and IntelCenter, which keep tabs on militant websites, said it was not clear when the video had been made.
It was not immediately clear whether the posting of the video on Tuesday was an attempt to show Libi had survived the attack. The US-based SITE said the video production date only indicated it had been produced by al Qaeda's media arm As-Sahab some time after November 2011.
Libi's recorded message did not refer to the US drone strike and the film was only dated with the current Islamic year 1433.
From those expecting a scathing message against the West, as is the norm in such videos, Libi's video bore surprises. The deputy commander of al Qaeda called on its fighters outside Syria to join the rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad, calling him a "tyrant" and his government a "criminal regime," according to SITE's translation.
"We call on our brothers in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey to go to help their brothers," he said in the video, released by a group known to be a media arm of al Qaeda.
"If your revolution was to be peaceful, God would have chosen it that way, but now the illusion of peaceful means after these great sacrifices ... would show weakness," he added, addressing Syrians.
A post on the site three days ago had said a message from Libi would be released soon.
The US government called the killing of Abu Yahya al-Libi, who had survived previous attacks, a serious blow to a group in which it said he played a key role forging links with young potential recruits.
Libi, a cleric whose real name was Mohamed Hassan Qaid, escaped from US custody in Afghanistan in 2005 and on at least one previous occasion was prematurely reported to have been killed in a US drone strike.
Libi also attacked the United States and the West, saying they did not have good intentions for Syria.
"Since when have the United States, United Nations and West been keen to protect lives of Muslims," he asked. Have the West's observers and missions helped (the Syrian people)?"
SITE said the message post accompanying the video refers to Libi with honorific titles normally reserved for the living.
IntelCenter said: "It is not unknown for groups to release videos of key figures that were filmed prior to their death but had not yet been released."
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