Zawahiri Responds to Online Questions; Threatens Israel & Jews
Posted: April 4, 2008
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s second in command, threatened Israel and “Jewish interests” in a 90-minute audio message billed as the first installment of responses to more than 900 questions submitted on Web sites commonly used by Islamic militants.
Released on April 2, 2008, by Al Sahab, Al Qaeda’s media wing, the audio message was accompanied by English and Arabic transcripts. The message was in response to questions posed to Zawahiri in December 2007 and January 2008. Zawahiri answered approximately 100 questions in four sections focusing on Palestine, Iran, Egypt and the “killing of innocents.”
In response to questions about Israel, Zawahiri endorsed “every operation against Jewish interests” and promised to “strive as much as we can to deal blows to the Jews inside Israel and outside it, with Allah’s help and guidance.” In response to several questions about where Al Qaeda is headed next, Zawahiri responded, “I expect the Jihadi influence to spread after the Americans’ exit from Iraq, and to move towards Jerusalem.”
Zawahiri also advised “the people of… Palestine” to “perform Jihad, then Jihad, then Jihad…I ask Allah to guide you and all Mujahideen in Palestine and the rest of the homelands of Islam to obey Him and aid His religion.”
In his audiotape, Zawahiri claiming that Al Qaeda has not killed “innocent people” and accuses Americans, Jews, Russians and the French of being killers. He also charged the United Nations as “an enemy to Islam and Muslims” and confirmed that Osama bin Laden “is healthy and well.”
Zawahiri’s audiotape is the latest in a series of threats against Israel and Jews by Al Qaeda in recent months. In March 2004, Zawahiri urged his followers in an audiotape to attack “Israel and additional Western targets” and to “strike the interests of Jews, the Americans, and all those who participated in the attack on Muslims.” Osama bin Laden also released an audiotape in March 2004, calling on Palestinians to use “iron and fire” against Israel, as that alone "is the way to recover it because nothing cuts iron except iron.”