Washington: Al-Qaeda leader Ayman
al-Zawahiri called on Algerians to overthrow the government of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and praised Libyan rebels for seizing Tripoli, in a new video.
Osama bin Laden`s successor Zawahiri urged Libyans to adopt sharia law as they rebuild the country after the NATO-backed rebels` ouster of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.
"The first thing that this NATO will ask of you is to
relinquish your Islam," Zawahiri said according to a
translation provided by US monitoring service SITE, dismissing
the military alliance as a "Western gang".
"Be careful of the plots of the West and its henchmen
while you are building your new state. Don`t allow them to
deceive you and steal your sacrifices and suffering."
Zawahiri, wearing white, was shown sitting in a
cloth-covered chair in front of a green backdrop in the
13-minute video released on extremist forums yesterday, SITE
The veteran Egyptian militant and long-time Al-Qaeda
number two took over the jihadist network after bin Laden was
killed in a clandestine raid by US Navy commandos in Pakistan
on May 2.
"And if I congratulated our people in Libya for their
victory over the tyrant, I call upon our people in Algeria to
follow their footsteps," Zawahiri said in the video.
"Here are your brothers in Tunisia and then in Libya
having thrown out the two tyrants to the trash can of history,
so why don`t you revolt against your tyrant?"
Bouteflika`s government has faced protests resembling
those that ousted neighbouring Tunisia`s dictator Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali, but the protest movement has been
successfully contained by security forces.
The video is the latest in which the militant chief, who
is now Washington`s most wanted man, has attempted to seize on
the "Arab Spring" revolutions.