Zawahri urges Pakistanis to join jihad
Dubai, July 15, 2009
Al Qaeda's second-in-command accused the United States of leading a crusade to turn Pakistan from a Muslim nuclear power into a divided nation and urged Pakistanis to join jihad to resist.
Militants were in a tug-of-war with the US-allied government as they push to make Pakistan a "citadel of Islam" in the region, Ayman al-Zawahri said in a audio recording posted on an Al Qaeda-linked website.
"It is the individual duty of every Muslim in Pakistan to join the Mujahedeen," Zawahri said. "The crusade aims at eradicating the growing jihad nucleus in order to break up this nuclear capable country, and transform it into tiny fragments, loyal to and dependent on the neo-crusaders."
Zawahri argued Pakistan was virtually occupied by the United States through US-allied politicians and officers who are fighting Islamists' plans "to establish Pakistan as a political entity standing as a citadel of Islam in the subcontinent".
"The scholars of Islam have unanimously agreed that if the infidel enemy enters a Muslim country, it is the duty of all of its inhabitants, and when needed their neighbours, to mobilise for Jihad.
"The Americans are today occupying Afghanistan and Pakistan, so it is the duty of every Muslim in Pakistan to rise up to fight them."
The Egyptian militant leader described Washington's allies in Pakistan as a "clique of corrupt politicians and a junta of military officers who are fighting to remain on the American pay list by employing Pakistan's entire military and all its resources in the American crusade against Islam".
Pakistan's army went on the offensive in late April against an insurgency by al Qaeda allies, the Taliban, in Swat valley after the militants took over the district 100 km (60 miles) from Islamabad and raising fears for Pakistan's stability and the safety of its nuclear weapons.
Pakistan's action against the militants has won US praise as it steps up the war against the Afghan Taliban over the border in the run-up to an Aug. 20 Afghan presidential election.
The leader of the group's wing in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid, said in remarks aired in June that if it were in a position to do so, Al Qaeda would use Pakistan's nuclear weapons in its fight against the United States. - Reuters