(photo credit: AP [file])
Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaida's second-in-command, said on Monday that Israel should be wiped off the map and described the Jewish state as a crime against Muslims.
Zawahri also accused US President Barack Obama of conducting a policy on Israeli-Palestinian issues that was bound to end in failure for the Palestinians, Reuters reported, saying that Obama wanted a Palestinian state that would serve as "an extension of the CIA."
"Israel is a crime that should be removed," the news agency quoted Zawahri as saying in an interview with al Qaida's media arm As-Sahab, posted on an Islamist website on Monday.
Al-Qaida has repeatedly lashed out at Obama since he was elected, a move some analysts believe indicates the terrorist organization is worried he will be effective in improving the US image in the Muslim world.
"His bloody messages were received and are still being received by Muslims, and they will not be concealed by public relations campaigns or by farcical visits or elegant words," Zawahri said of Obama's speech in Cairo in early June.
He went on to say Obama's decision to come to Cairo showed the US had not given up its alliances with dictatorial and corrupt Mideast governments.
"It is a clear message that America does not stand with reform and change and other lying American propaganda, but it stands with the continuation of the existing tyrannical, rotten regimes," said Zawahri.
Zawahri criticized Obama's trip to Israel before he was elected president and his visit to the Western Wall, where he wore a yarmulke.
"The White House said that Obama will send a message from Egypt to the Islamic world, but they forgot that his messages have already been received by the Islamic world when he visited the Wailing Wall, put on his head the Jew's cap and prayed their prayers, though he claims to be Christian," said Zawahri.
AP contributed to this report
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