Al Qaeda Second-in-Command Calls for “Jihad against Jews”
Posted: December 17, 2009
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, has renewed calls to establish an Islamic state in Israel and urges his followers to “seek jihad against Jews” and their supporters.
In his latest audio recording, released by Al Qaeda’s media wing Al Sahab on December 14, 2009, Zawahiri condemns “the Zionist enemy” and the various governments and countries that support it. In the 26-minute message, entitled, “The (Palestinian) National Unity: A Worshipped Idol,” Zawahiri urges Muslims to “liberate Palestine – all of Palestine – from the Zionist, Jewish occupation, and to establish in it a Muslim state.”
Throughout the recording, which was posted on Web sites commonly used by Muslim extremists, Zawahiri belittles Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority’s goal to establish a national Palestinian unity government. Such a government, he purports, hinders the “goal in Palestine, [which] is to liberate it from the Jews in order to establish an Islamic state that governs with Sharia [Islamic law].”
Zawahiri further warns the Palestinians against negotiations with Israel and urges Muslims to “constantly grasp on continuing jihad that Palestine cannot be liberated without.” Liberating the land, he continues, entails sacrificing “all of what’s possible with our hands, mouths and hearts.”
After labeling Israel as the “spear-head of the modern Crusader-Zionist campaign,” Zawahiri condemns President Barack Obama for his apparent support of Israel, accusing the American president of perpetuating a foreign policy that only favors Israel. Obama’s Middle East policy, Zawahiri purports, is “nothing but a new episode in the crusaders’ Zionist campaign to enslave us and humiliate us, occupy our land and steal our resources, and fight our religion and Sharia.”
Zawahiri, who also calls for jihad against America and the West, criticizes the U.S.’s allies in the Middle East and labels Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, King Abdullah II of Jordan and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia as “the Arab Zionists in their ugliest images.” According to Zawahiri, these men are the “brothers of Satan” who have collaborated in the “crusader-Zionist campaign over Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and the rest of the Muslims homelands.”
In furthering his critique of the U.S., Zawahiri vows that “we will not forget” Al Qaeda members currently held in American prisons. Specifically, Zawahiri calls for attacks against the Americans who have imprisoned Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian cleric and alleged leader of the terrorist group Gama’a al-Islamiyya who plotted to bomb five major landmarks in New York in 1993.
Zawahiri’s message is his latest to threaten the U.S., Israel and Jews. In February 2009, he urged his followers to attack Jews and Westerns worldwide, explaining that “the entire world is our field against the targets of the Zionist Crusade.” Jihad is necessary, Zawahiri argued, “and it is not for the enemy to impose on us the field, place, time and way in which we fight him.”
Zawahiri’s December audio was released two days after another Al Sahab video appeared on the Islamic forums. This video features Adam Gadahn, an American Muslim convert who joined Al Qaeda in the late 1990s, who claimed that the American and Pakistani governments framed Al Qaeda for the recent terrorist attacks that resulted in high Muslim casualties.