Monday, February 08, 2010

Al-Qaeda in Yemen call for jihad

Said al-Shihri, the deputy chief of al-Qaeda's wing in the Yemen, has called for Muslims in the region to wage holy war against Christians and Jews.

Al-Qaeda in Yemen call for jihad

Photo: A Yemen soldier stands atop a hill overlooking the capital Sanna (AFP/Getty Images)

Al-Qaeda in Yemen call for jihad
From The Daily Telegraph
Published: 6:59PM GMT Monday 08 February 2010
In an audio message posted on the internet Said al-Shihri, a former inmate of the US prison in Guantánamo Bay, urged followers "to attack the interests of America and the Crusaders."

He continued: "We advise you, our people in the peninsula, to prepare and carry your weapons and to defend your religion and yourselves and to join your mujahideen brothers."

The message is the first time that al-Shihri has surfaced since a December 24 air strike by Yemeni forces that targeted him and other al-Qaeda figures.

Yemeni authorities initially claimed that he had been killed, but this was later denied by al-Qaeda.

Yemen is in the throes of a major crackdown on the global militant network's regional offshoot, which grabbed the world's attention when it claimed a failed bomb attack on US-bound plane in December.

Al-Shihri congratulated Nigerian radical Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for his "blessed" attempt to blow up the Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas.

The authenticity of the statement could not be independently confirmed but it was posted on a website commonly used for militant messages.

Saudi Arabia has long feared al-Qaeda will take advantage of the Yemen's lawless regions to build a solid base of operations there from which it can threaten the whole peninsula. The offshoot al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was formed a year ago, when Yemen and Saudi militant groups merged.

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