Al-Qaida stepped up its calls to kill Jews.
Ayman al-Zawahri, the Osama bin Laden lieutenant who last month urged Muslims to strike Jews “everywhere” in revenge for an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, issued an even more expansive threat Thursday.
“We promise our Muslim brothers that we will do the best we can to harm Jews in Israel and the world over, with Allah’s help and according to his command,” Zawahri said in an audiotape released online.
The remarks, which were in response to e-mailed questions from al-Qaida supporters and came with an English translation, linked the sought-after fall of Israel to the sought-after failure of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
“I expect the jihadi influence to spread after the Americans’ exit from Iraq and to move towards Jerusalem,” Zawahri said.
A fugitive from the regime of Hosni Mubarak, Zawahri predicted the demise of the pro-Western governments in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But he had especially hostile words for the United Nations, calling it an “enemy of Islam” for its vote on creating the State of Israel in 1948.