'Turn the ground beneath their
feet into an inferno': Zawahri

In the recording, which apparently was made in the early days of the US-led war against Iraq, Ayman Zawahri  called on Muslims to strike at US, British, Australian and Norwegian missions and commercial interests.

He told the Iraqi people they were “not alone” in fighting the US occupation.

"Oh Iraqi people! We have defeated those cruaders and driven them out of our homelands several times. You are not alone in the battle, your brothers the Mujahideen are chasing your enemy," he said.

Zawahri exhorted Muslims to carry out attacks against Western interests.

"Oh Muslims! Carry out attacks against the embassies, companies, interests and officials of the US, Britain, Australia and Norway. Burn the ground under their feet".

“The crusaders and the Jews only understand the language of murder, bloodshed…and of the burning towers,” he said in reference to the destroyed twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York.

“Learn the lesson from your 19 brethren who attacked America with their planes, in New York and Washington, wreaking on it unprecedented havoc from which it is still reeling,” he said.

Zawahri also lashed out at Arab states he said helped the US campaign against Iraq, naming Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen and Jordan.

Considered to be bin Laden’s right-hand man, Egyptian doctor Zawahri founded a group which tried to topple the Egyptian government during the 1990s.