Last Updated: Thu Mar 22, 2012 01:04 am (KSA) 22:04 pm (GMT)

Zawahiri urges Afghans to rise against ‘Crusader pigs’

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on Afghans to join the insurgency led by the Taliban and al-Qaeda against foreign troops. (File photo)
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on Afghans to join the insurgency led by the Taliban and al-Qaeda against foreign troops. (File photo)

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri urged Afghans to rise up against “Crusader pigs” in an audio message on Wednesday, after he referred to the burning of the Quran by U.S. soldiers last month.

Zawahiri also made reference to an online video in which U.S. Marines were shown in an online video urinating on the corpses of Taliban militants in January.

The message, which the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group said was posted on extremist forums, mentioned a series of scandals in Afghanistan that have sent U.S.-Afghan tensions soaring.

But the message made no reference to a massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan earlier this month, which has further complicated relations between Washington and Kabul and prompted calls for an accelerated withdrawal of foreign forces.

“Allah disclosed the Americans through the tape that appeared on the Internet showing the Crusader pigs of the Marines as they urinated on the body of an Afghan mujahed, may the vast mercy of Allah be upon him,” Zawahiri said in Arabic in his audio speech, according to a SITE translation.

“This is their view towards other people in general and the Muslims in particular, and this is their way of treating us.”

The Marine video set off a military investigation amid concerns it would be used as a recruiting tool by Afghan insurgents.

Appealing to Afghans’ pride, Zawahiri asked how they will respond when their children ask what they did to those who insulted the Quran, mocked the Prophet Mohammed, killed their fellow countrymen and urinated on their bodies.

The al-Qaeda chief said the proper response would be to join the insurgency led by the Taliban and al-Qaeda against foreign troops.

“O honorable, strong Afghan, the path is now clear and the way is shown, so either you stand under the banner of Islam as a mujahed and a helper to the mujahedeen with your hand, tongue, opinion, money and heart, or you will face the humiliation of the world and the shame of the hereafter,” he said.

“You saw with your own eyes how the Crusaders look at you and what your value is to them.

Last month, Somalia’s militant group al-Shabaab joined ranks with al-Qaeda, Zawahiri announced in a video message posted on jihadist forums.

“Today, I have glad tidings for the Muslim ummah (nation) that will please the believers and disturb the disbelievers, which is the joining of the al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia to Qaedat al-Jihad to support the jihadi unity against the Zionist-Crusader campaign and their assistants amongst the treacherous agent rulers,” said a bespectacled Zawahri in the video.

“The jihadist movement is with the grace of Allah, growing and spreading within its Muslim nation despite facing the fiercest crusade campaign in history by the West,” said Zawahiri in the video released by al-Qaeda’s media arm As-Sahab.

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