A Pakistan-born American who has admitted to trying to set off a car bomb in Times Square said in a videotape before the failed attack it was to avenge the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Al Arabiya television said on Wednesday.
"This attack on the United State will be a revenge for all the mujahedeen (holy warriors) ... and oppressed Muslims, including ... Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," the late leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, a man purported to be Faisal Shahzad said on the video aired by the television.
"Eight years have passed since the Afghanistan war and you shall see how the Muslim war has just begun and how Islam will spread across the world," the television quoted the man as saying.
The man, wearing traditional tribal clothes and sitting with an assault rifle, praised as martyrs dead Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and Iraq-based al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in 2006, in the video which resembled footage made by suicide bombers.
Shahzad, 30, who was charged with international terrorism, allegedly drove a Nissan sports utility vehicle crammed with a large but malfunctioning bomb into Manhattan's busiest neighborhood, as thousands flocked to theatres and other tourist attractions.
He was arrested just before his flight left Atlanta, Georgia airport and 53 hours after police found the homemade bomb smoldering in the SUV parked outside a theatre staging "The Lion King" musical.
The notorious Zarqawi, who orchestrated a bloody campaign of attacks and beheadings, was killed north of Baghdad in a U.S. air strike in 2006 after long eluding capture as Iraq's most-wanted fugitive.