June 3, 2008 / 9:06 PM / 9 years ago

New Qaeda release expected from No. 2 Zawahri

<p>In this file image, al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri speaks in a grab from a video released September 20, 2007.via Internet</p>

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri is expected to issue a new statement calling for an end to Israel's economic blockade of the Gaza Strip, U.S.-based Internet monitors said on Tuesday.

The statement was produced by al Qaeda's media arm, as-Sahab, and an announcement of its impending release was posted to Islamist Web forums, the SITE Intelligence Group said. Monitor IntelCenter said the audio-video release was expected within 72 hours.

Reporting by Randall Mikkelsen, editing by Jackie Frank

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