Al Qaeda in North Africa backs Libya uprising: SITE
Nicosia: Al Qaeda's branch in North Africa has vowed to do everything in its power to help an uprising against Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, according to a statement posted on Thursday by the SITE monitoring group.
"(We) will do whatever we can to help you, with power from Allah, because your fight is the fight of every Muslim who loves Allah and His Messenger," the statement from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said, according to SITE.
In the US monitoring group's English translation, the statement made no mention of a claim by Libya's deputy foreign minister that al Qaeda had set up an Islamic "emirate" in Derna, eastern Libya.
Residents in the city have told reporters there is no substance to the claim, arguing that the Libyan government is trying to "scare Europe".
AQIM, acclaiming the successful anti-regime uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, said it was time for the "impostor, sinful, hard-hearted bastard" Gaddafi to meet the same end.
"We declare our support and aid to the Libyan revolution in its legitimate demands, and we assure our people in Libya that we are with you and we will not let you down," said its statement, which SITE reported was posted on jihadist forums on Wednesday.
The attempts of North African regimes to cling onto power had exposed their "lies" that al Qaeda was the one guilty of killing innocents, it said.
"We only came out to defend you against these despots who usurped your rights, plundered your wealth, and prevented you from having the minimum requirements of a dignified life and the simplest meanings of freedom and human dignity," AQIM said.