Telling his followers that America is a ‘criminal country’ which has corrupted the world, new al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri urged them to continue fighting against the US despite the killing of Osama bin Laden.
In a 12-minute video message posted on different militant websites Sunday, Zawahri was seen wearing a white robe and turban with a gun at his side, a typical setting for the militant leaders’ address.
War against America “does not halt with the death of a commander or leader”, he asserted in his third message since June when he was named al-Qaeda's new leader, following the killing of Osama bin Laden by US commandos in Abbottabad garrison town of Pakistan.
"Chase America, which killed the leader of the mujahedeen and threw his body into the sea… Go after it so that history will say that God enabled his worshippers to attack a criminal country which has spread corruption in the world."
Egyptian-born al-Zawahri opined that the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia have provided new opportunities for the global militant group to spread its message as longtime autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt have been toppled.
"In Tunisia and Egypt, opportunities for preaching have been opened and only God knows until when these opportunities will last. Therefore, the Muslims and the mujahedeen should benefit and take advantage of them to reveal the truth."
Though Al-Qaeda has played no role in the outbreak of the uprisings across the Arab world, it has repeatedly tried to forge a role for itself, but it has little in common with the youth activists who are mainly behind the protests. Their leaders say they seek greater freedoms, not Islamism. But Zawahri said these countries' constitutions should be brought in line with Islamic Sharia law.