A video showing dozens of masked men brandishing automatic weapons, singing patriotic and religious songs and glorifying Osama bin Laden and the leader of the Taliban was aired by an al-Qaida front group.
The Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group that includes the terror network, included footage with excerpts from old speeches by the al-Qaida leader and slain al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who died a year ago Thursday in a U.S. airstrike northeast of Baghdad.
The songs praised jihad, or holy war, as well as bin Laden and Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar, who are believed to be in hiding in the mountainous border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"Our leader bin Laden, with power of faith, made America tremble .. Our Emir Mullah Omar .. We destroyed America .. Baghdad, the cradle of esteem, is calling on us .. hurry up to head for paradise . we are the soldiers of God," the militants chanted.
Most were wearing ski masks, although a few left their faces uncovered. All brandished automatic weapons and the voices appeared to have accents from the Gulf region, not Iraqi.
One sang in Turkish with the Arabic subtitle "we will not retreat and will keep following this path .. God ordered us to unite .. You the faithful, hurry up to join jihad."
The footage contained excerpts from old speeches of bin Laden, al-Zarqawi and Abdullah Azzam, considered bin Laden's spiritual mentor who was killed in 1989 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
One group was shown sitting inside a room, its walls seemed to be of clay, another was in the open with some trees around them and a third group was shown wearing camouflage fatigues also in the open.
One man delivered a speech toward the end of the tape, which lasted just over 51 minutes, saying "they fought us even though we did nothing wrong .. they demolished our houses ... they hurt our honor, but God is supporting us."
During a videoconference meeting with students on January 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin answered the question about the "palace," which, as Alexey Navalny claims, is being built especially for the president