Police scour 'voice of terror' video

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The Independent Online

Police and terror experts examining a video released by al-Qa'ida on the anniversary of the London bombings are focusing on the appearance of a man known as "Azzam the American", who refers to the Forest Gate raid in London five weeks ago.

The video featured one of the July 2005 suicide bombers, Shehzad Tanweer, who warned that the atrocity was "only the beginning of a series of attacks that will continue and increase in strength until you withdraw your soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq". The background was the same as a video released last September of Mohammed Sidique Khan, the presumed leader of the bombers.

The new video also shows the deputy leader of al-Qa'ida, Ayman al-Zawahiri, saying the two bombers visited one of al-Qa'ida's camps "seeking martyrdom". This was the first confirmation that the British Muslims had had contact with the movement, but Evan Kohlmann, a US-based terror consultant, said the appearance of Azzam, whom he identifies as a Californian called Adam Gadahn who converted to Islam in the mid-1990s, was most significant.

"This is only the third time Azzam has actually appeared on a video, though he has done the voice-over for several more," said Mr Kohlmann. "Both the others concerned the 9/11 attacks. Not only does this show that Azzam has become the English-speaking voice of terror, it removes all doubt that the London bombings were an al-Qa'ida operation."

A Metropolitan police source said experts were examining the footage to establish when and where the video was made.