The new head of the international Al Qaeda terrorist organization is urging Muslims around the world to avenge the assassination of the group's founder, Osama bin Laden, earlier this year by U.S. forces.
Ayman al-Zawahiri told Muslims in a 12-minute video posted on jihadist Internet forums addressed to “Muslim brothers everywhere” to “pursue” the United States. The video, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, was apparently posted Monday to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
“America today is staggering... Follow it where you know it is, follow it cut what remains of its corruption,” Zawahiri said in the video. “Pursue America, which killed the 'Imam of the Mujahadeen' and threw his body into the sea and then captured his women and sons,” he continued.
Muslims in general and the jihad movement in particular should wage “the battle of intellectual argument just as much as the battle of weapons,” Zawahiri added. He also called on Tunisia and Egypt to implement Sharia – Islamic law – as they install their new governments in place of the regimes toppled in the “Arab Spring” revolutions earlier this year.
Bin Laden was shot and killed in a May 2 operation by U.S. Navy SEALs in a Pakistani military town. At least one of Bin Laden's wives was captured in the operation.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian physician, served three years in an Egyptian jail. He was linked to the assassination of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who signed the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. He was also connected to a November 1997 massacre of 62 tourists at Deir el-Bahri in the Upper Egyptian city of Luxor.