CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – Two of the four suicide bombers who attacked London last July 7 spent time at an al-Qaida camp to prepare themselves for a suicide mission, the deputy leader of the terror network claimed in a video Friday.

British authorities previously said they knew Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammad Sidique Khan had visited Pakistan, but the comment from al-Qaida No. 2 man Ayman al-Zawahri was the first to claim that they had been at an al-Qaida base.

“Both of them were seeking martyrdom and wished that they could carry out a martyrdom operation,” al-Zawahri said, using the Islamic euphemism for a suicide attack.

It was not possible to independently verify his claim, which was part of a video posted on the Internet on the first anniversary of the suicide bombings that killed 52 commuters on three subway trains and a bus in London.

The video also contained a harangue by an English-speaking al-Qaida member against British and U.S. involvement in the Middle East and Asia, saying no Muslim should “shed tears” for Westerners killed by al-Qaida attacks.

The speaker was identified with the Arabic nickname “Azzam al-Amriki” – Azzam the American. That name has been used in previous al-Qaida videos by a man identified as Adam Gadahn, a Californian who converted to Islam and has been sought by the FBI since in 2004 on suspicion of attending an al-Qaida training camps in Pakistan.

Al-Zawahiri did not say when the two London bombers trained at the al-Qaida camp or where it was. The group is believed to have bases along the Pakistani-Afghan border, a rugged region where many experts think Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahiri may be hiding.

Al-Zawahiri said that while at the camp, Tanweer and Khan paid no heed to militants who discussed matters unrelated to suicide attacks, “because the goal for which they came to al-Qaida’s jihad base was to carry out a martyrdom operation.”

A security analyst at the London think-tank Chatham House, Bob Ayers, said the claim contradicted the British police finding that there was no evidence linking the four London bombers to al-Qaida.

“It makes the police look pretty bad,” Ayers said. “It means the investigation was either wrong, or they had identified links, but were reluctant to reveal them.”

The 31-minute video appeared on an Islamic Web site known for carrying militant messages and was released to coincide with the first anniversary of the London bombings. A heavily edited version was broadcast Thursday by Al-Jazeera television.

“The coordinated timing of the tape shows these guys did not act independently and were at a minimum supported by al-Qaida if not recruited, trained and supported by them,” Ayers said.

Spokesmen at the Foreign Office and London’s Metropolitan Police said they could not comment because they had not seen the tape.

Part of the video was recorded recently, as the statement by the English-speaking man referred to the June 30 revelation that U.S. troops allegedly raped and murdered an Iraqi teenager.

He said Britain and the United States had only themselves to blame for attacks by Islamic militants “because they are the ones who started this dirty war.”

Evan Kohlmann, a New York consultant on terror groups, said the speaker appeared to be Gadahn, who as a teenager converted to Islam in the mid-1990s while in contact with Muslims in Garden Grove, Calif.

Federal officials said two years ago that Gadahn was suspected of going to al-Qaida training camps and serving as a translator for the terror network.

“He’s the only known individual of Britain or American background in senior levels of al-Qaida,” said Kohlmann, whose globalterroralert.com studies al-Qaida.

The video also contained a long testimonial from one of the London bombers, Tanweer, in which he gave his motives for taking part in the attacks and warned of more to come. Some of it appeared in the edited version broadcast by al-Jazeera.

“For the non-Muslims in Britain, you may wonder what you have done to deserve this,” Tanweer said in a thick north English accent.

Britons oppress “our mothers and children, brothers and sisters from the east to the west in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya,” he said.

“Your government has openly support for the genocide of more than 150,000 innocent Muslims in Fallujah,” he added, referring to the west Iraqi town where U.S. troops fought Islamic militants for several weeks.

“You have openly declared war on Islam,” he said.

Glancing down at his text, which was off-camera, Tanweer said: “I tell every British citizen to stop your support to your lying British government and to the so-called war on terror. And ask yourselves: Why would thousands of men be ready to give their lives for the cause of Muslims?”

“What you have witnessed now is only the beginning of a series of attacks that will continue and increase in strength until you withdraw your soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq,” he warned.


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