February 13, 2007 / 3:04 PM / 13 years ago

Bush's Iraq troop increase a doomed gamble-Zawahri

DUBAI, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri said U.S. President George W. Bush’s troop build-up in Iraq is a gamble bound to fail, according to a Web statement published on Tuesday on a U.S.-based security Web site.

"(Bush’s) addiction to gambling ... motivates him to continue to place losing bets until he goes completely bankrupt," the SITE Institute’s Web site quoted Zawahri as saying in an audio recording posted on the Internet.

"(This) is the obvious psychological motivation behind his Iraq policy ... were the Americans to leave him alone, he would continue to send their forces to Iraq until the Mujahideen kill the last one of their soldiers," he said.

The authenticity of the statement could not be verified. The SITE Institute is a private U.S. organisation that tracks militant activities and often publishes militants’ statements.

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