Al Qaeda boss Ayman al-Zawahri has called for so-called “lone wolf” attacks in the West and, particularly, the U.S., in an audio recording released on Sunday, Reuters is reporting.
It is not clear, as of this post, when the Al Qaeda leader made the recording, but al-Zawahri mentioned former Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar as being alive during the recording. Mohamed Omar died in late July, suggesting that the recording is at least two months old.
In the recording, al-Zawahri praises Muslims who have carried out attacks against Western targets in the name of Jihad, such as the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings, and the Kouachi brothers, who carried out the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris. He then uses urges Muslim men to emulate their example.
“I call on all Muslims who can harm the countries of the crusader coalition not to hesitate. We must now focus on moving the war to the heart of the homes and cities of the crusader West and specifically America.”
Unlike the attacks of September 11, 2001, where over a dozen attackers worked together in a coordinated attack that took months to plan, “lone-wolf” attacks are small-scale terrorist attacks, carried out by a small number of terrorists (sometimes just one), acting on their own and with little help.
Fox News intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge noted that it’s difficult for intelligence-monitoring agencies to stay on top of such attacks because of their small scale — there’s less communication between the terrorists to monitor.
“These operations are that much harder to disrupt, because there are no communications between them and the ‘mothership’ or the lead organization, in this case Al Qaeda in Yemen or Al Qaeda core in Pakistan.”
Also in the recording, al-Zawahri took a stab at ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The ISIS leader has declared himself the “Caliph” — that is, both the political and spiritual leader of a non-existent Islamic nation he calls the “Caliphate” — a claim which the Al Qaeda leader claims is illegitimate, according to CNN.
“We do not acknowledge this Caliphate,. We do not see Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as one worthy of the Caliphate.”
Regardless of the differences the two organizations may have with each other, however, al-Zawahri promised that the two would cooperate with each other when it came to fighting coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.
Intelligence agencies are currently analyzing al-Zawahri’s 38-minute recording.
[Image courtesy of: Getty Images / Handout]