AQIM Leader Tells Algerians to Boycott Presidential Elections

The leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) Abu Mus'ab Abdel Wadud urged Algerians to boycott the upcoming presidential elections in an audio statement distributed today on several militant Islamist websites.

"O' Muslim brothers, these apostates, by trying to get you to vote in the upcoming elections, are seeking to give legitimacy to an oppressive regime that lacks any shred of legitimacy," said Abdel Wadud. "It's an attempt to fool you and distract you from the fundamental issues through those miserable elections."

Abdel Wadud lashed out at Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika, saying that he is just a puppet president introduced by the Americans to represent and protect their interests in the country. He also criticized Bouteflika for allowing the U.S. to open FBI offices in Algiers and allowing the U.S. Army to set up training camps in Algerian desert.

The former leader of the GSPC, Hassan Hattab, was also strongly criticized by Abdul Wadud, over his initiative to convince young militant Islamists to lay down the arms and take advantage of the government's amnesty program.

The 16-minute tape is entitled "Say No To the Tyrants" and has French subtitles.