On July 27, Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, urged Syrian protesters to denounce the United States and Israel.
"America, which co-operated with (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad during his whole regime, claims today that it stands with you when it saw him floored by the earthquake of your fury," he said in the video posted on an Islamist website. In the video, he is seen in a white turban and robe and seated next to an assault rifle.
Zawahiri was chosen by the Islamist group to succeed Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan in May, after a near 10-year worldwide hunt.
"You are standing with your bare chests before the shells worldwide of tanks, artillery, and helicopters," Zawahiri said of the Syrians demonstrators.
He continued: "Say to both of them [the U.S. and President Obama]: Our blessed fury and mighty uprising will not calm, with permission from Allah, until we raise the victorious banners of jihad above Jabal Mukabbir in the beloved, usurped Jerusalem."
Thus far, there has been little evidence of al-Qaeda influence during the wave of demonstrations against the Syrian government, which were sparked by protests that overthrew long-time rulers in Tunisia and Egypt. However, Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Moualem, has claimed that the killings of police and soldiers indicated that al-Qaeda might be behind some of this violence.