On Monday, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri (shown in picture above [right] with bin Laden [left]), who is considered as Osama bin Laden’s second in command, urged Muslims to attack Jewish and American targets worldwide in retaliation for the ongoing Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip.
The message was brought through a recorded tape, much like the two earlier tapes of Osama bin Laden who is calling for a holy war on behalf of the Palestinians. In those tapes he also warned of a severe reaction against European nations due to the republishing of the newspaper cartoon of the Islam Prophet Muhammad – which in my opinion is absolutely insane and proves to be a deterrent to peace more than anything else. The editor of Jyllands-Posten is a self-righteous ignoramus!
Anyways, these recent messages are directed at a broader audience. Al-Qaeda is trying to fan the flames, so to speak, of Arab anger against the West; trying to gain further support for their cause which is shared by many. This may mean that they are indeed planning new attacks against the Western countries; or this may simply mean that they are urging other extremists to do what they themselves want to but cannot do.
Al-Qaeda is obviously a crippled soldier. But they don’t need to be present at all battles. The terrorist group does not have a presence in Israel nor in the neighboring territories. This is the reason why most of their sympathizers in the region are asking for support… and this is what they are getting. More than a blessing of sorts, it’s an assurance that al-Qaeda is behind (so to speak) every attack against Israel and furthermore against the West. This is what I think the message is all about and Israel is at the worst end of it all.
Israeli officials are yet to comment on the message. The Israeli assault against the rocket firing squads in Gaza had reportedly killed more than 120 people, many of which are civilians. These attacks were all aired on Arab television.
“There comes a time when you have to back up your words,” said counter terrorist expert and Georgetown University professor, Bruce. “With the increased drumbeat of propaganda … it becomes an element of necessity — if you’re talking so much you have to do something.”
“Perhaps they don’t have the ability to attack the United States, so they may turn to the next best enemy, either Israel or Europe.”
Here is an except from the al-Zawahiri message:
“Muslims, today is your day. Strike the interests of the Jews, the Americans, and all those who participated in the attack on Muslims. Monitor the targets, collect money, prepare the equipment, plan with precision, and then — while relying on God — assault, seeking martyrdom and paradise. Today there is no room for he who says that we should only fight the Jews in Palestine. Let us strike their interests everywhere, just like they gathered against us from everywhere.”
The authenticity of the message has not yet been confirmed. But according to the early reports, the voice resembles that of al-Zawahiri when compared to previous audio and video tapes that has already been confirmed to be from him. The message was posted on a known militant Islamic website. Most of the al-Qaeda tapes are usually released in that said site.
True or not, it is definitely a cause for concern and should not be taken lightly, not only in the West but in other countries as well where Islamic terrorist cells are present — more so Arab nations (like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan), whom al-Zawahiri accused of having a “satanic alliance” with Israel and the West. Al-Qaeda is definitely not dead, and they are once more calling for Islamic armed resistance.