Al Qaeda Leader Calls For Gaza Retaliation

(CBS)
Senior al Qaeda leader Abu Yehya al-Libi has called on the Mujahideen around the world to strike against Western capitals in retaliation for the death of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Al-Libi's call came in a new video released Thursday by al Qaeda's media wing as-Sahab, which was downloaded by CBS News.

"Oh, Mujahideen all over the world, rise up like a raging lion and do everything you can to make the infidel Western capitals, criminal America, and the tyrant traitors, suffer what our vulnerable people in Palestine are suffering," al-Libi said, "Make them taste the bitterness of wars, the misery of displacement, the gloom of terror."

Al-Libi made no reference in the audio to President Barack Obama, and it was not clear when the message was recorded.

He issued a direct threat to the U.K., and blamed the suffering of the Palestinian people squarely on the 1917 Balfour Declaration, with which the U.K. began the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. "It is high time for this criminal state, Britain, to pay the penalty of its historic crime that we haven't and will never forget," al-Libi warned, "So wait ye: we too are waiting," he added, quoting a verse from the Quran.

The Libyan al Qaeda ideologue paid tribute to the perpetrators of the Mumbai massacre, which left over 170 people dead last November, and urged Muslims to follow their example. "Is the Muslim Ummah unable to produce great heroes capable of offering it what the Lions of the Mumbai epic have achieved with their blood?"

Al-Libi opened his statement by strongly criticizing what he called the double standard of Western government policy in dealing with Muslims.

"If a herd of pigs and dogs had suffered a fraction of what our Muslim brethren suffer in Gaza, all the Western institutions would have risen up, human and animal rights organizations alike would've been mobilized and the voices calling for trying the perpetrators of such condemned crime would have pitched high," al-Libi said.

According to al-Libi, ending the suffering of Muslims in Palestine cannot be achieved through protests and condemnations, nor through negotiations and "non-binding" resolutions from the "infidel" Security Council, but rather through action on the ground; "By striking against Jews and the countries that support them everywhere, especially against their economic interests, their political institutions, and their military strongholds. This is a duty that is incumbent upon our Muslim brothers in Palestine, and their fellow Mujahideen all over the globe."

Al-Libi issued a battle cry to Palestinians, calling on them to join al Qaeda's jihad, because, he said, they have nothing more to lose. "The rivers of blood never cease, the piles of body parts are heaping up, the prisons of the Jews are packed, the demolition of homes, the uprooting of trees, the scooping of lands continues."

As his boss Osama bin laden did in an audio released last week, al-Libi declared the U.S. to be in a state of collapse, explaining that America's war in Iraq had finished it off and stripped it of its "Super Power" status.

"Iraq has become a curse that will forever chase the United States and its rulers; Its prestige is gone, its arrogance shattered, its troops have no value, its economy has weakened, and here it is today, brought down to its knees, begging other countries."

Thursday's video completed a series of statements made by top al Qaeda leaders on Gaza, with both bin Laden and his lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri issuing separate audio statements urging Jihad during the past two weeks.

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