LONDON—The leader of al Qaeda in Iraq has called for renewed attacks on American troops over the next month, the U.S. based terrorism monitoring service SITE Institute said on Saturday.
The call came in an hour-long audio tape issued by Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, who urged militants from the Sunni Islamist group to "celebrate" the recent announcement that the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq had passed 4,000.
"We must celebrate this event in our special way, and make the defeated Bush join us in this celebration," he said, according to a transcript released by SITE.
He called on al Qaeda fighters to provide "a head of an American as a present to the trickster Bush" in a month-long campaign he called the "Attack of Righteousness".
President George W. Bush expressed his sorrow last month when the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq since 2003 reached the milestone of 4,000.
Bush said U.S. soldiers in Iraq were laying the foundation for peace for generations to come.
The U.S. military said on Friday it believed a group of al Qaeda bombers has slipped into Baghdad to carry out a wave of car bombs and suicide attacks.
Suicide bombs and car bombs are hallmarks of al Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni Arab militant group that shares a name and ideology if not organisational ties with Osama bin Laden's network, which was blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.