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Embassy Responds to President Musharraf's Criticism on CNN
aired on CNN's "The Situation Room"


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: In our CNN "Security Watch," a new tape believed to be from Osama bin Laden's and an increasing focus on what's being described as economic terrorism.

CNN's Brian Todd is joining us now live from Washington. He has some details -- Brian.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, on this tape, Ayman al- Zawahiri calls on his followers to make Western powers "bleed for years." And as you mentioned, he seems especially interested in making them bleed financially.


TODD (voice over): Experts believe Ayman al-Zawahiri likely made this tape before the attack on a Saudi oil processing terminal in late February. But they say his message touches a central al Qaeda strategy, keep hitting the West where its money is.

Al-Zawahiri tells followers to prevent the Western crusaders from stealing the Muslims' oil and makes reference to recent cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI, AL QAEDA (through translator): They have the rights to invade our land, rob our wealth and then insult us.

TODD: Experts, including a former CIA deputy director and a former CIA analyst, say perhaps unwittingly, al-Zawahiri may actually be helping U.S. leaders readjust their focus in the war on terror.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: At a time when we are spending a lot of energy worrying about how one of our best counterterrorism partners, the UAE, will manage some terminals at our ports, Zawahiri's statement may be a useful reminder that there could be some greater dangers out there to focus on. TODD: The tape offers proof that at least until a few weeks ago, al Qaeda's number two figure was alive, while two leaders hunting for him are quarreling. Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf telling Wolf Blitzer he is irate that Afghan president Hamid Karzai gave him intelligence on Taliban and al Qaeda leaders' whereabouts in Pakistan. Intelligence made public around the time of President Bush's visit. Intelligence that Musharraf says was outdated.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PAKISTANI PRESIDENT: I am totally disappointed with their intelligence, and I feel there is a very, very deliberate attempt to malign Pakistan by some agents, and President Karzai is totally oblivious of what is happening in his own country.


TODD: Contacted by CNN, Afghanistan's ambassador to the U.S. says the intelligence was not outdated, that his government's intent was to help Musharraf's forces. And they believe the Pakistanis can do more to hunt al Qaeda and Taliban suspects along their common border.

One former top intelligence official says we shouldn't read too much into this dispute. Tensions have flared before among these two governments, and they'll likely do so again. But the timing of this argument was not great for perception coming on the heels of al- Zawahiri's message -- Wolf.

BLITZER: I've interviewed President Musharraf on several occasions, Brian, and he was irate yesterday when we spoke. He was in Rawalpindi.

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