US Republicans launch terror ad

controversial terror-linked TV ad to bolster support ahead of mid-term elections


The US Republican Party has launched a controversial terror-linked TV advertisement to bolster support ahead of mid-term elections next month.

The footage shows al-Qaeda leaders with captions of threatening statements, while the soundtrack of a ticking bomb plays in the background.

The advertisement, which ends with the sound of a bomb exploding, is due to air from Sunday.

Democrats have hit out at the commercial, calling it scaremongering.

US voters go to the polls on 7 November to elect members of Congress.

Republicans have made a tough stance on terrorism a major part of their campaign strategy.

‘Desperate ploy’

Both Osama Bin Laden and his second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are shown in the commercial, which is entitled “The Stakes”.

Attributed quotes such as “Kill the Americans” and “What is yet to come will be even greater” are flashed across the screen.

Gun-bearing militants in training camps are also shown, followed by the stark message: “These are the stakes. Vote November 7th.”

A statement on the Democratic National Committee website called the advertisement “a desperate ploy to once again try to scare voters and distract from their failures”.

“Republicans are so afraid of their abysmal record they can’t offer one example of what they’ve done to keep America safe,” the response said.

But the Republican National Committee said the advertisement “underscores the high stakes America faces in the global War on Terror”.

The BBC’s Justin Webb in Washington says the advertisement comes as the Republican Party face up to the real possibility that it could lose control of one or both houses in the polls.

This is an outcome that would in effect torpedo the Bush presidency, our correspondent adds.

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