According to the AP, "Tawid and Jihad" - the terrorist group in Iraq which is led by the Jordanian Zarqawi - announced its offical alliance as a franchisee to alQaeda and UBL.
Here's an excerpt:
Zarqawi Movement Vows al-Qaida Allegiance
Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi's Militant Group, Operating in Iraq, Declares Allegiance to al-Qaida
BAGHDAD, Iraq Oct. 17, 2004 (AP) - The most feared militant group in Iraq, the movement of terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, declared its allegiance to Osama bin Laden on Sunday, saying it had agreed with al-Qaida over strategy and the need for unity against "the enemies of Islam."
The declaration, which appeared on a Web site often used as a clearinghouse for statements by militant groups, began with a Quranic verse encouraging Muslim unity and said al-Zarqawi considered bin Laden "the best leader for Islam's armies against all infidels and apostates."
The statement, whose authenticity could not be independently confirmed, said the two had been in communication eight months ago and "viewpoints were exchanged" before the dialogue was interrupted.
"God soon blessed us with a resumption in communication, and the dignified brothers in al-Qaida understood the strategy of Tawhid and Jihad," the statement said.
The annoucement comes from Zarqawi. NOT UBL.
Why wouldn't UBL - by voice or video - announce he had "signed" the terrorist who is doing the most terror in the world, right now?
I guess because UBL is dead, and that Zarqawi made the announcement because he trying to motivate his minions - who are currently getting their asses whupped in Fallujah.
Predictably, the MSM is playing this as a major setback for the USA.
The MSM: (as the man once said), they're not neutral; they're on the other side.