Monday 11 December 2017

Al Qaeda urges young Muslims in Europe to carry out Charlie Hebdo style attacks

Al Qaeda's new leader Ayman al-Zawahiri seen in 2013
Al Qaeda's new leader Ayman al-Zawahiri seen in 2013

Ahmed Aboulenein and Omar Fahmy

Al Qaeda have called on young Muslim men in the West to carry out lone wolf attacks to "harm the countries of the crusader coalition".

Urging greater unity between extremist militants, terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahri ordered his followers to "focus on moving the war to the heart of the homes and cities of the crusader West and specifically America".

"I call on all Muslims who can harm the countries of the crusader coalition not to hesitate," he said in an audio recording posted online on Sunday.

He suggested Muslim youth in the West look to the Tsarnaev and Kouachi brothers as examples to follow - these siblings carried out the Boston marathon bombings and Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris respectively.

It was not clear when the recording was made but references to former Taliban leader Mullah Mohamed Omar as being alive suggest it is at least two months old.

Mr Omar's death was announced by Afghanistan's government in late July.

Mr Zawahri reiterated his position on Islamic State, repeating what he said in a recording posted on Wednesday - that he viewed the group's claim to be a caliphate as illegitimate but would join them in fighting Western and secular forces in Iraq and Syria.

The former Egyptian doctor urged unity between Islamist militant factions in Syria and Iraq, where a Western-led coalition is bombing Islamic State targets, but recognised it would he be difficult.

He called for the formation of an independent sharia court to settle disputes.


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