Al-Qaida Leader Urges Algerian Overthrow, Islamic Libya

Posted October 12th, 2011 at 7:20 am (UTC-5)
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Al-Qaida's leader has called for Algerians to follow the example of others in the Middle East and overthrow their government, and urged Libyans to establish an Islamic state.

In a video message posted on Islamist websites Wednesday, Ayman al-Zawahiri told Algerians to look at Tunisia and Libya, where popular uprisings this year toppled longtime leaders.

The 13-minute message included warnings to Libya to beware of “Western plots” and a claim that NATO would force Libyans to give up their Islamic faith.

The Egyptian-born Zawahiri also praised a cross-border attack in August in which at least eight Israelis were killed when militants crossed into southern Israel from the Sinai Peninsula.

In a July message, Zawahiri claimed solidarity with Syria's pro-democracy movement, while urging protesters there to direct their anti-government uprising also against the United States and Israel.

There is little evidence of al-Qaida influence in the wave of Arab Spring uprisings that have swept across much of North Africa and the Middle East this year.