Zawahri urges Muslims to abduct Westerners, ensure sharia in Egypt
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Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has called on Muslims to kidnap Westerners, join Syria's rebellion and to ensure Egypt implements sharia, SITE Monitoring reported on Saturday, citing a two-part film posted on Islamist websites. The Egypt-born cleric, who became al-Qaeda leader last year after the death of Osama bin Laden, spoke in a message that lasted more than two hours.
"We are seeking, by the help of Allah, to capture others and to incite Muslims to capture the citizens of the countries that are fighting Muslims in order to release our captives," he said, praising the kidnapping of Warren Weinstein, a 71-year-old American aid worker in Pakistan last year.
"Zawahri's message was first released on Wednesday," SITE said, "just two weeks after the cleric issued a filmed statement calling for more protests against the US over a California-made film mocking the Prophet Mohammad."
In his new message, Zawahri called on Muslims to ensure Egypt's revolution continued until sharia law was implemented and urged fellow Muslims to join the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
In a further attack on Western governments and international institutions, Zawahri accused world powers of giving Assad a licence to kill his opponents.
"The UN, (former international negotiator on Syria) Kofi Annan and the Arab League give the al-Assad regime one opportunity after another to end the rising of jihadi, popular resistance against his oppression, injustice, corruption and spoiling," SITE reported Zawahri as saying.
"I incite Muslims everywhere, especially in the countries that are contiguous to Syria, to rise up to support their brothers in Syria with all what they can and not to spare anything that they can offer," Zawahri said.
Zawahri also called on President Mohamed Morsi to explain his policies on Israel, Egyptian Christians and sharia law.
"The battle in Egypt is very clear. It is a battle between the secular minority that is allied with the church and that is leaning on the support of the army, who are made up by (former President Hosni) Mubarak and the Americans ... and the Muslim ummah (nation) in Egypt that is seeking to implement sharia," he said.
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