SAT: Tape summation

Click photo to play
Length: 1:34

T.J. HOLMES: Up first this hour, a new tape, a taunting message -- the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq releases a new audiotape and he's talking about fallout from Tuesday's midterm election here in the U.S.

Here now, CNN's Michael Ware.


MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the wake of the shock of the resignation of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, there has been a rising tide of triumphalism from insurgent groups operating in Iraq and militias, with al Qaeda in Iraq striking the latest rhetorical blow, saying that the day of victory for al Qaeda has come sooner than expected.

The group's leader, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, released an audiotape on the Internet in which he threatened to attack the White House and pledged 12,000 al Qaeda foot soldiers to the Islamic State of Iraq.

ABU HAMZA AL-MUHAJER (through translator): I say to the lame duck, don't rush to run away as your lame defense secretary ran away. We haven't had enough of your blood yet. Come down to the battlefield, you coward.

WARE: The Islamic State is an al Qaeda-driven construct from an alliance of insurgent groups, from which al Qaeda hopes to build its international caliphate based here in western Iraq.

The taunting by the group's leader over the political upheaval in Washington is something that is almost certain to become a regular feature of the insurgents' propaganda campaign.

Michael Ware, CNN, Baghdad.