Al-Qaeda leader calls on Muslims to kidnap Westerners

In a video released by the SITE Intelligence Group on jihadist forums and translated by the US monitoring service, Zawahiri also lashed out at US President Barack Obama, calling him a liar and demanding he admit defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan and North Africa.

Criticising the new Egyptian government – led by a president drawn from the Muslim Brotherhood – as corrupt, he said a battle is being waged in Egypt between a secular minority and Muslims seeking implementation of Sharia law.

The Egyptian doctor, the former deputy to slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, said these Egyptians want to see their government liberated from US influence and Palestinian victory over Israel, SITE reported.

"The battle isn't over but it has started," Zawahiri said, urging "every sincere person in Egypt" to "wage a popular campaign to incite and preach in order to complete the revolution, which was aborted.

"The revolution in Egypt must continue and the Muslim Ummah must offer sacrifices until it achieves what it wants and until it snatches from the corrupt forces … the dignity and honour of Egypt."


Massive protests erupted on January 25, 2011 and toppled former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak after more than 30 years of iron-fisted rule. He was replaced by the Islamist Mohamed Morsi after elections earlier this year.

Zawahiri said liberating Omar Abdul Rahman, an Egyptian cleric jailed in the US for his role in the 1993 World Trade Centre attack, and inmates at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay was an "obligatory duty for every Muslim".

"I call upon Muslims to capture citizens of the countries that wage wars against Muslims," he said.

"Our captives or Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman will not be liberated except through force, for it is the only language that they understand."

In that vein, he made a reference to Warren Weinstein, a relief worker with USAID who was captured in Lahore, Pakistan in August 2011.

Zawahiri also called Obama a "professional liar".

"Obama must admit he and his allies are standing in the defeated line, and that Osama bin Laden, may Allah have mercy on him, and the rest of the Mujahedeen and the Muslim Ummah are standing in the victorious line, whether anyone likes it or not."

In a second, 58-minute video, also summarized and translated by SITE, Zawahiri called upon Egyptians to take part in protests "against the Israeli embassy and against normalisation and the peace treaty with Israel, and against the Israeli occupation of the land of Palestine, and against any concession and surrender to it, and against every siege in Gaza."

He also asked Morsi – whom he described as a president with no authority – specific questions, including what his positions were on "the jihad to liberate Palestine," as well as Sharia rule and Egypt's participation in the US "war on terror". – Sapa-AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sapa Afp
Guest Author

Related stories

The pandemic has shifted patterns of conflict in Africa

Although the overall rate of conflict has remained steady in Africa during the past 10 weeks of the pandemic, the nature of this is changing in subtle but significant ways

Armed militants wage war on Burkina Faso’s schools

A survivor tells of how Islamists carrying AK-47s arrived on motorbikes, forced fleeing children to lie on the ground and beat teachers before setting a building on fire

Covid-19 in Africa: The good news and the bad

What might Africa look like in the wake of the pandemic? There’s enough change happening to keep both optimists happy and pessimists glum

Conflict is escalating in central Mali, says Human Rights Watch

Last year was the deadliest for civilians since the current political crisis began in 2012. And the fighting is also increasing in neighbouring countries

Secularism is not the answer to fundamentalist violence

A solution to religious fundamentalist violence is neither a secularist view nor religious in nature; it entails a blend of both.

Kenya suffers Somali blowback

Kenya said it invaded Somalia to protect its citizens, but the attack in Nairobi this week shows this has failed
Advertising

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Fees free fall, independent schools close

Parents have lost their jobs or had salaries cut; without state help the schools just can’t survive

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

White men still rule and earn more

Women and black people occupy only a few seats at the JSE table, the latest PwC report has found
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday