6,148. 10/17/2004

“On October 17, 2004, after several months of discussion, [militant Jordanian Abu Musab al-] Zarqawi proclaimed his allegiance to the al Qaeda center and to the ‘sheikh of the Mujahedin of our time, Abu Abdullah Osama bin Laden.’ The name of his group was changed from Tawhid al Jihad to Tanzim al Qai’dat al Jihadi fi Bilad al Rafidayn, or al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. In his statement of allegiance Zarqawi taunted the occupation and the supporters of the invasion [of Iraq], saying it was ‘not the piece of cake’ they expected and promising the ultimate victory of al Qaeda. He went so far as to say that al Qaeda’s defeat of the Jews and ‘their compatriots on the extreme American right’ in Iraq would incur loses larger than the casualties inflicted ‘from the blessed 9/11 attacks.’ ”

 – Bruce Riedel, The Search for Al Qaeda, Pages 104-105

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