The White House has denounced an al-Qaida message containing a racial
insult for U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, calling it "despicable
An administration spokeswoman (Dana Perino) said the
terror group's first reaction to Mr. Obama's election is a reminder of
the kind of people the United States is dealing with.
In a posting on a militant Web site Wednesday, a voice identified as
al-Qaida's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, refers to Mr. Obama in
Arabic as a "house slave." The posting's English caption translates it
as "house Negro," a phrase once used to refer to blacks co-opted by
Zawahri also insults other prominent African Americans -- Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
There was no immediate reaction from Mr. Obama's transition team.
The personal attacks also include a rebuke of Mr. Obama for turning his back on his father's Muslim roots.
The al-Qaida recording says Mr. Obama's support of Israel confirms his hostility toward Islam.
Zawahri also says President-elect Obama's plan to increase the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is doomed.
Mr. Obama has said he will return America's military focus to Afghan
insurgents and the fight against al-Qaida, after what the
president-elect has called the distraction of Iraq.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says the al-Qaida posting held
no indications of an increased threat against the United States.
Experts in terrorism say the message may have been prompted by concerns
within the terrorist network that the election of Barack Obama could
undercut efforts by al-Qaida to gain support. They say Mr. Obama's
message of change is being heard in other countries, and the fact that
he is a son of a Muslim father is raising hopes in the developing world.