CAIRO (AP) – Al-Qaida‘s leader on Friday marked the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by calling on Muslims to strike inside the United States, with big attacks or small, using any opportunity they can to “bleed” America financially.
In an audio message released two days after the 12th anniversary of the attacks, Ayman al-Zawahri said America is not a “mythic power” and that the mujahedeen – Islamic holy warriors – can defeat it with attacks “on its own soil.”
Al-Zawahri, the successor to Osama bin Laden, used the anniversary to argue that the United States can be defeated by targeting its economy. At the same time, he also addressed the ongoing upheaval in the Arab world. Pointing to a power struggle going on within the rebellion against Syria’s regime, he warned jihadi fighters in that country’s civil war not “compromise” with more secular or moderate rebel factions, who he said would eventually turn against the al-Qaida-linked radicals.
The message’s authenticity could not be independently confirmed. It was posted on a militant website commonly used by al-Qaida.
CAIRO — Anti-American protests inspired by a video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad entered a fourth straight day here in the Egyptian capital and other demonstrations erupted in much of the Middle East after Friday Prayer — an occasion often associated with public displays of dissent.
Witnesses in Cairo said protests that first flared on Tuesday — the day J. Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador in Libya, was killed in an attack in neighboring Libya — continued sporadically early Friday, with protesters throwing rocks and gasoline bombs near the American Embassy and the police firing tear gas.
In Lebanon, one person was killed and 25 injured as protesters attacked restaurants, while in Sudan demonstrations flared outside of the German and British embassies. There was also turmoil in Yemen, Bangladesh, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq. Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem, and held protests in the West Bank and Gaza.