Al Qaeda leader calls on Muslims to kidnap Westerners
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has called on Muslims to kidnap Westerners, citing the success in the abduction of American aid worker Warren Weinstein in Pakistan.
In a two-part, more than two-hour video posted on jihadist websites, al-Zawahiri called for the abductions as part of a vow not to 'spare any efforts' to free Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
"God the great and almighty granted us success to capture the Jewish American Warren Weinstein," al-Zawahiri said in the video posted on Wednesday, according to the terror monitoring group SITE Intelligence.
"We are seeking, by the help of God, to capture others and to incite Muslims to capture the citizens of the countries that are fighting Muslims in order to release our captives," he said.
According to CNN, also in the video, al-Zawahiri called for Sharia law to be instituted in Egypt, and he questioned Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi for his stances on a number of issues, including Israel.
"I call on every free and honorable (person) in Egypt to participate in every protest against the Israeli Embassy, against the peace treaty with Israel, against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and against every siege of Gaza," al-Zawahiri said.
"Islamic movements and masses must be at the forefront of those protests and the first to sacrifice for their sake," he added.
According to the report, the video is the latest in a series released by al-Zawahiri, who was al Qaeda's No. 2 leader under Osama bin Laden.
He took over leadership in June 2011 following bin Laden's death, according to statements posted on jihadist websites, the report said.