Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ayman al-Zawahri Threatens "Crusader Base" Libya

The Counterterrorism Blog reports that Bin Laden's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has called for attacks on Western interests in North Africa and for the overthrow of the leaders of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

On 11-3-07, Zawahiri denounced Libya's leader Moammar Gadafi as an "enemy of Islam" and threatened terrorist attacks against Western interests in Libya because of Libya's improved relations with America. The AP reports (11-3-07) that Zawahiri attacked Gadafi in an audiotape released Saturday:

In the 28-minute audio tape called "Unity of the Ranks," Ayman al-Zawahri also announced that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was joining ranks with al-Qaida. [Note--Counterterrorism Blog reports on the LIFG's long-standing relationship with Al Qaeda here. A dossier about the LIFG can be found here.]

"The Islamic nation is witnessing a blessed step ... The brothers are escalating the confrontation against the enemies of Islam: Gadhafi and his masters, the Washington crusaders," al-Zawahri said in the audio tape. The recording could not be independently verified, but it appeared on a Web site commonly used by insurgents and carried the logo of al-Qaida's media production house, as-Sahab.

The recording also carried a message from Abu Laith al-Libi, a Libyan al-Qaida commander in Afghanistan who accused Gadhafi of decades of tyranny.

"He is the tyranny of Libya and is dragging the country to the swamp," al-Libi said in the recording that also featured old video footage of him walking with other masked gunmen.

"After long years, he (Gadhafi) discovered suddenly that America is not an enemy ... and is turning Libya into another crusader base," said al-Libi, who has appeared in several recent al-Qaida videos. [full text]

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