Al-Qaida in Iraq on Wednesday denounced Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey, calling it part of a "crusader campaign" against Islam.
The trip is Benedict's first visit to an Islamic country as pontiff, seeking dialogue with Muslims who were angered over a speech he made in September in which he cited a medieval text that linked Islam and violence.
Al-Qaida in Iraq issued its statement on an Islamic militant Web site it often uses to post messages.
"The Pope's visit, in fact, is to consolidate the crusader campaign against the lands of Islam after the failure of the crusader leaders ... and an attempt to extinguish the burning ember of Islam inside our Turkish brothers," it said.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>