Al Qaeda leader urges Yemeni tribes to fight government

February 20th, 2009 - 2:48 am ICT by IANS  

Sanaa, Feb 20 (DPA) The leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Nasser al-Wahishi, called on Yemeni tribes Thursday to rebel against the government and to confront security forces pursuing Al Qaeda members in their areas.
In an audiotape posted on Islamist web sites, al-Wahishi linked the clampdown on Jihadists in five desert provinces to the deployment of Western navy forces in the Gulf of Aden to fight piracy.

“The parties have gathered in the land of faith and wisdom. French, British and Western crusaders, have come to the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden to surround the Island of Islam (Arabian Peninsula) from the sea,” al-Wahishi said.

He further accused Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh of “opening the country to this flagrant invasion to please them (the West)”.

Al-Wahishi appealed to the tribes to get ready to fight in “the war”, by preparing landmines, explosive devises and traps.

He further called on the peoples of Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries to “relieve” their brothers in Yemen through backing their fight.

This was the second message by al-Wahishi as the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group that experts say is based in Yemen and includes militants from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

He is the most wanted fugitive in Yemen, and his name is on a list of 85 Al Qaeda suspects issued by Saudi authorities last week.

Al-Wahishi’s first appearance in a video last month prompted Yemeni security forces to launch a nationwide manhunt in pursuit of fugitives believed to be linked to Al Qaeda.

In the video, al-Wahishi threatened to carry out attacks against US and Western interests in the Arabian Peninsula.

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