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Qaeda's Zawahri mocks Obama, slams Arab leaders: web

DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's No. 2 leader mocked President Barack Obama for voicing confidence over victory in Afghanistan, in an Internet message posted on Monday.

Ayman al-Zawahri also said Arab government leaders allied to the West were more harmful to the Palestinians than Israel.

"Poor Obama comes to Kabul and he promises that Taliban shall not return to power ... You poor man, can you promise that your hordes will return safely to America?" a speaker who sounded like Zawahri said in an audio recording posted on Islamist websites often used by al Qaeda.

Obama made his first trip to Afghanistan as president in March, delivering a rousing speech to U.S. troops and telling them he was confident they would have success in their mission.

"These Arab Zionists with whom we live and exchange smiles ... are more dangerous than the Jewish Zionists," Zawahri said, referring to Arab leaders allied to the West.

Zawahri, an Egyptian, singled out Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak for his blockade of Gaza's border with Egypt, helping Israel's blockade of the Palestinian territory.

"Who surrounds our people in Gaza? ... Is it not the leader of the Arab Zionists, Hosni Mubarak?"

It was the latest message from Zawahri since an audio tape in March in which he praised two al Qaeda leaders killed in Iraq.

Zawahri is thought to be in hiding in mountainous territory close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

(Reporting by Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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