Al Qaida releases video supporting Arab Spring

Footage includes messages from Osama bin Laden and successor Ayman al-Zawahiri, condones overthrow of secular Arab governments.

By REUTERS
September 13, 2011 08:50
1 minute read.
Ayman al Zawahiri

Ayman al Zawahiri. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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DUBAI - Al Qaida has released a message in which Osama bin Laden's successor as the group's leader, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, said al Qaida supported the Arab Spring.

The hour-long video was released to mark the 10th anniversary of al Qaida's Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

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The SITE Monitoring Service, which tracks jihadist statements, quoted Zawahiri as saying he hoped the protest movements that have overthrown leaders in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya would establish what he called true Islam.

The video was posted on jihadist websites on Monday and titled "The Dawn of Imminent Victory," SITE said.

Al Qaida, which called for the violent overthrow of secular Arab governments, lost a great deal of relevance as a result of the political upheaval across the Middle East and North Africa.

The video also included a message that al Qaida said was recorded by Osama bin Laden before his killing in May by US special forces, in which he warns Americans against "falling as slaves" to the control of major corporations.

Ahead of events on Sunday in the United States to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, officials had warned of a specific, credible but unconfirmed report of a threat to harm Americans, notably in New York and Washington.

SITE made no mention of any specific threat in its account of the contents of the video.

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