6,234. 12/28/2004

"…in an audiotape broadcast by Al Jazeera satellite television [on December 28, 2004], bin Laden personally endorsed [militant Jordanian Abu Musab Al-] Zarqawi as his deputy and anointed him the emir of Al Qaeda in Iraq; he praised Zarqawi's 'gallant operations' against the Americans and said that Zarqawi and those with him are fighting for God's sake: 'We have been pleased that they responded to God's and his Prophet's order for unity, and we in Al Qaeda welcome their unity with us.' "

 – Fawaz A. Gerges, The Far Enemy, 258

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