Dubai, Nov 8 : The election of Barack Obama as the 44th US president represents a victory for radical Islamic groups that had battled American forces since the invasion of Iraq, leader of a jihadi group in Iraq has said.
The statement, which experts said was part of the psychological duel with the United States, was included in a 25-minute audiotaped speech by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella organization that claims ties to Al Qaeda.
Baghdadi's statement was posted on a password-protected Web site called Al Hesbah, used to disseminate information to Islamic radicals, The New York Times reported.
In his address, Baghdadi also said that the election of Obama and the rejection of the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain was a victory for his movement, a claim that has already begun to resonate among the radical faithful.
In so doing Baghdadi highlighted the challenge the new president would face as he weighed how to remove troops from Iraq without also giving movements like al Qaeda a powerful propaganda tool to use for recruiting, The NYT said.
"And the other truth that politicians are embarrassed to admit is that their unjust war on the houses of Islam, with its heavy and successive losses and the continuous operations of exhaustion of your power and your economy, were the principal cause of the collapse of the economic giant," Baghdadi said.
The audio statement came amid a very public discussion in the Middle East over what Obama's election meant for the future - and what it said about the past.
Most of the public reaction, in newspapers and on television and radio stations, was euphoric, with many commentators marveling at the election of a Black man whose father was from a Muslim family.