Al-Qaeda: Yes to More Attacks in the West; No Hudna With Israel

Al-Qaeda's second-in-command criticized Hamas, said his organization will strike targets in the West, and called Lebanon a forward outpost.

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Nissan Ratzlav-Katz ,

The logo of Al-Qaeda's media arm
The logo of Al-Qaeda's media arm
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In an audio recording released Tuesday, Al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, said that his organization is intending to strike targets in the West, and that Islam forbids an agreement of any kind with Israel. He also called Lebanon a forward position in the jihad against the Jewish state.

The two-and-a-half-hour recording was the second installment in a series of replies to questions from the public, submitted through sympathetic Islamist websites. The Al-Zawahiri tape was released by Al-Qaeda's media arm, As-Sahab, through a website known as an outlet for the organization's publications.

Reacting to the Palestinian Authority's negotiations with Israel - and to reports that the Islamist Hamas might agree to such an agreement - Al-Zawahiri said that Hamas "spoke of putting it to a referendum despite considering it a breach of Sharia [Islamic law]. How can they put a matter that violates Sharia to a referendum?"

Lebanon is a Forward Outpost of Jihad
In the Islamic front with the Jews, Al-Zawahiri said, "Lebanon is a Muslim forward outpost. It will have a pivotal role, Allah willing, in future battles with the Crusader forces and the Jews. I call upon the jihadists in Lebanon to prepare to reach Palestine."

The senior Al-Qaeda leader further called for the Lebanese to evict United Nations troops, which he called "the invading Crusader forces," from their country.

In late March, Al-Zawahiri issued an audio recording entitled "Rush to Support Our People in Gaza," in which he called on Muslims to "strike the interests of the Jews, the Americans and all of those who participated in the attack on the Muslims." He went on to threaten, "No one can say today that we should fight the Jews in Palestine only." In a recording of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin-Laden issued less than a week earlier, he vowed to increase his group's efforts to "free Palestine, all of Palestine, from the Jordan to the sea."

'Iraq Heralds an Imminent Victory'
In answer to a question if Al-Qaeda is planning more attacks within those Western countries involved in the
It is against Islamic law for Muslims to live "under the laws of the infidels."
ongoing war in Iraq, Al-Zawahiri replied: "My answer is: Yes! We think that any country that has joined aggression on Muslims must be deterred."

In any event, he noted, it is against Islamic law for Muslims to live "under the laws of the infidels" for an extended period of time.

Regarding all the many fronts in the global jihad, Al-Zawahiri said, "I call upon the Muslim nation to fear Allah's question about its failure to support its brothers, the mujahideen, and not to withhold men and money, which is the mainstay of war.

"I urge all Muslims to hurry to the battlefields of jihad, especially in Iraq," he said, adding, "The situation in Iraq heralds an imminent victory of Islam and the defeat of the Crusaders and those who stand under their flag."






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