Yemen included in Al-Zawahiri’s latest message [Archives:2004/778/Local News]

October 4 2004

An audiotape of Al-Qaeda's second in command, shown on the Al-Jazeera channel last Friday, encouraged Muslims to resist the United States and its allies.
“We can't wait or we will be eaten up country by country,” said Ayman Al-Zawahiri, second in rank to Osama bin Laden, and believed to be hiding along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. “People of knowledge and experience should organize their efforts and form a leadership for the resistance to combat the crusaders.”
Al-Zawahiri mentioned Yemen while claiming that a number of countries will expand into different countries.
“We should not wait until the US, British, French, Jewish, South Korean, Hungarian or Polish forces enter Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen and Algeria before we resist,” said Al-Zawahiri. “The interests of America, Britain, Australia, France, Poland, Norway, South Korea and Japan are spread everywhere. They all took part in the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq or Chechnya or enabled Israel to survive.”
After analyzing the tape, the CIA said it was most likely authentic.
“We assess with high confidence that it is the voice of Ayman Al-Zawahiri,” said the CIA.
Al-Zawahiri said Muslims should follow the methods used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ongoing clashes continue between US and Iraqi forces and rebel groups 17 months after the US invasion. Fighting has intensified between the remnants of the Taliban regime, which was ousted in late 2001, and US forces in south Afghanistan which has left over 1,000 dead in the last 12 months.
The Al-Qaeda leader also urged attacks against Israel and the United States as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues.
“Defending Palestine is a legitimate issue and liberating Palestine is an Islamic duty for all; therefore, Muslims cannot give up Palestine even if the whole world does so,” Al-Zawahiri said.
There are concerns that as the threat of terror appears to have risen since the attacks on the United States on September 11th 2001, more countries have become more vulnerable to terrorist assaults. In recent weeks, there was a flurry of attacks in a number of countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Russia.
But according to one Yemeni analyst, Al-Zawahiri's message was not threatening.
“Al-Zawahiri's remarks were nothing new,” said the analyst. “There has never been an uprising or a united front in the Muslim world when he has called on the Muslims to take action. Plus, his message could have been hidden in what he said to a specific group or groups. The threat of terror is rising, so more attention should be given to rooting out terrorist groups.”
In an Al-Zawahiri videotape last month he said that the United States will be defeated in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“The Americans in both countries are between two fires. If they continue they bleed to death and if they withdraw they lose everything,” said Al-Zawahiri.
Last month, US military officials said that Al-Qaeda has been involved in some of the recent attacks in Afghanistan, where violence has increased leading up to the presidential elections on October 9th.
Roughly 18,000 US troops are fighting with the Taliban and its affiliates in Afghanistan and have been searching for Osama bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri for nearly three years.