Bin Laden's voice — always quiet in his messages — sounded fatigued in the audio. He demanded President Bush release al-Zarqawi's body to his family and that Jordan allow him to be buried in his homeland, something Amman has said will never happen.
Al Qaeda's central leadership is believed to have differed with al-Zarqawi, criticizing his strategy of targeting Shiite civilians with suicide bombings in an attempt to spark a civil war in Iraq.
Bin Laden defended al-Zarqawi in the audiotape, saying he had "clear instructions" to focus on U.S.-led forces in Iraq but also was free to mount attacks on anyone who sided with the U.S.-led coalition "regardless of their sect or tribe."
However, bin Laden did not mention Shiites Muslims in particular, underlining the divisions with al-Zarqawi, who frequently railed against Shiites.
The Al Qaeda leader — perhaps inadvertently — also showed a lack of a direct hand in the fight in Iraq, said Diaa Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on militant groups.
In particular, bin Laden made no mention of al-Zarqawi's successor, or even the name of al-Zarqawi's organization, Al Qaeda in Iraq, Rashwan noted.
Instead, bin Laden said, "The banner has not fallen, it has only been passed from one lion to another."
Well, maybe we should release the body............
......and bomb everyone who shows up at his funeral.