In a new audio message released late Sunday night, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri urged September /11-style attacks against the U.S. and praised a recent spate of stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israelis.
The 16-minute message, discovered by Vocativ’s deep web technology as the recording was initially distributed on social media platforms, features al-Zawahiri calling for attacks against “the West,” especially against the U.S. for its support of Israel. “Those who support Israel should pay in their blood and economy the price for supporting the crimes of Israel against Islam and Muslims,” al-Zawahiri says on the recording, titled “We Shall Unite To Liberate Jerusalem.”
He also called on fighters to follow in the path of those who carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks, “and the attacks in Madrid, Bali, London and Paris.”
Al-Zawahiri urged Muslims to unite, saying they must establish a Caliphate and an Islamic state in Egypt and the Levant, and that they must “liberate Palestine.” Muslims today face “American-European-Russian-Shiite-Alawite aggression,” he said, before calling on jihadist organizations worldwide to stop infighting and “stand in one line, from East Turkestan to Morocco, against the satanic alliance that attacks Islam, its nation and its house.”
Al-Zawahiri has released a string of audio statements in recent months following a long silence. In August, he pledged allegiance to the new Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar, and later continued with a series of audio recordings blaming ISIS leader Abu Baker al-Baghdadi for creating civil war in Islam.
Sunday’s statement was the first time al-Zawahiri referenced a recent wave of rising Israeli-Palestinian violence, which has centered in part around access to the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
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