Al Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri Urges For More Protests, Holy War On US

Al Qaeda’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released an audio message praising last month’s deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and calling for more protests against offensive depictions of the prophet Mohammed.

The seven-minute-long message by al-Zawahiri, notes Reuters, was posted Friday on various Islamist websites including the Muhahedin al-Ansar, a website known for carrying statements from al Qaeda’s leaders.

In Ayman’s message, “free and distinguished zealots for Islam,” such as those who attacked the US Consulate in Benghazi and protested other American embassies in the Middle East, are urged to “continue their opposition to American crusader Zionist aggression against Islam and Muslims.”

In the audio message, according to CNN, the Al Qaeda leader states:

“May God salute the free honest believers who stood up and stormed the American Consulate in Benghazi and those who demonstrated in front of the American Embassy in Cairo and brought down the American flag and raised the banner of Islam and Jihad instead.

“In the pretext of personal freedom and freedom of expression, America allowed the production of a movie that was aimed to defame the beloved Prophet Mohammed, even though this alleged personal freedom that they boast about didn’t stop the Americans from torturing the Muslim prisoners.

“I call upon (protesters) to continue their confrontation against the American Zionist crusader transgression and I call upon all Muslims to follow their leads.”

The September 11 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi which killed four Americans, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens, coincided with protests around the Muslim world against the anti-Islam movie “Innocence of Muslims” and is now believed to have been carried out by militants linked to al-Qaida, reports The Guardian.

The trailer for the film produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula created an uproar among Muslims across the world after it was uploaded to YouTube. Along with the attack in Benghazi, Muslim protesters also stormed the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt, burning the American flag.

How do you think the US should respond to Al Qaeda’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and his message calling for more protests such as the ones in Benghazi and Cairo? Is this a call for a “holy war” on America?