Al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden.
(photo credit: AP)
Al-Qaida's second-in-command on Sunday called on Turks to force their government to break ties with Israel, in a 20 minute audio message in which Ayman al-Zawahri expressed deep regret for the killing of nine Turkish activists by Israeli commandos when their aid ship tried to break the blockade of Gaza.
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Zawahri said the Turkish government was showing sympathy to Palestinians with aid shipments on one hand, while it cooperated with the Israel military on the other.
He added that the United States, Israel and the treacherous Muslim governments share in the blame for the siege of Gaza.
In recent years, al-Qaida has expanded its messages beyond just the Arab world to Muslims elsewhere.
Turkish authorities have attempted to crack down on al-Qaida in the
country. In July, police detained 29 people suspected of links to the
terror network. Earlier this year in January, police rounded up 120
Police have been on alert against suspects since homegrown Islamic
militants tied to al-Qaida carried out suicide bombings in Istanbul in
2003, killing 58 people.