Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the plane crash that took 116 lives - almost half of them French

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

  • Live: ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

  • Air Algérie crash: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

Middle east

Wanted cleric urges killing of Americans 'without hesitation'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-11-08

Anwar al-Awlaq (pictured), a US-born Yemeni cleric wanted on terrorism charges, has told followers not to seek the blessing of religious leaders before killing Americans, the SITE terrorism monitoring group said Monday.

AFP - US-Yemeni radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi has called for the killing of Americans "without hesitation" and accused Iran of trying to impose control over Sunnis in the Gulf, SITE monitors said on Monday.

"Do not consult anyone in killing Americans," Awlaqi said in a 23-minute video posted on jihadist websites, according to the US monitoring group.

"Killing the devil does not need any fatwa (religious edict)," he added.

"It's either us or you," Awlaqi said, addressing Americans in the video, which first surfaced on October 23 when one minute of footage was posted on jihadist forums.

"America and Israel are controlling our ummah (nation) and soon Iran will interfere to get its share of the pie," he said.

"There is a US-Israeli struggle on one side and an Iranian on the other to impose their control on Sunni areas."

The Gulf's "Sunni citizens" will be "the first victims" of Iran, said Awlaqi, speaking in Arabic from behind behind a desk and sporting a sheathed dagger in his belt.

He accused Iran of trying to "spread a deviant ideology in Yemen," referring to Shiism. Sanaa accuses Iran of supporting northern rebels of the Zaidi faith, a branch of Shiism. Iran denies the claim.

Awlaqi also criticised the Sanaa government's position on southerners.

"Why does the government deal in this barbaric manner with ... those who are demanding their rights" in the south, he asked.

Yemen's security forces have been battling a separatist movement in the south, which some Yemeni officials accuse of allying with Al-Qaeda. The movement denies the allegations.

Awlaqi also slammed Muslim scholars for their silence on the arrest of an Australian woman in Yemen for suspected links with Al-Qaeda.

"Why this silence" over the arrest of the Australian "sister," he asked.

The woman, Shylogh Giddens, a convert to Islam who was in Yemen to learn Arabic, was deported together with her two children on her release in June.

Awlaqi also hailed the "jihadis (holy fighters) in Somalia, who have shown their ability to run the country according to sharia (Islamic law)" and "the Taliban in Afghanistan, which inflict lessons to the world's most powerful army," he said, in an obvious reference to the US military.

The authenticity of the video could not immediately be verified.

The cleric, who was charged last Tuesday in Yemen over alleged ties with Al-Qaeda and incitement to kill foreigners, is wanted in the United States on terrorism charges.

Prosecutors on Tuesday told a Yemeni court specialising in terrorism cases that Awlaqi had for months corresponded with Hisham Mohammed Assem, a Yemeni accused of shooting dead French energy contractor Jacques Spagnolo near Sanaa last month, encouraging him to kill foreigners.

Assem has denied being influenced by Awlaqi and insists he killed Spagnolo over a personal feud.

The court, under mounting US pressure to fight Al-Qaeda after a foiled air cargo bomb plot, on Saturday ordered the arrest by any means of Awlaqi for alleged links to Al-Qaeda.

The Yemen-based branch of Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the parcel bomb plot and said it was also behind the September downing of an American cargo plane in Dubai, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

The cleric has not immediately been linked to the parcel bombs, but American officials have long accused him of instigating "terrorism" from Yemen, where he is believed to be hiding in a remote area of Shabwa.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and headquarters of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has been under intense pressure from Washington to hunt down Awlaqi.

US Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism Adviser John Brennan has accused the cleric of having links with Major Nidal Hasan who is suspected of shooting dead 13 people at Fort Hood military base in Texas and of having had contact with Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of trying to blow up a plane over the US on Christmas Day.

Date created : 2010-11-08

  • TERRORISM

    Al Qaeda affiliate claims cargo plane bomb plot

    Read more

  • TERRORISM

    Yemen bomb disarmed 'with minutes to spare'

    Read more

  • YEMEN

    Troops launch hunt for Saudi bombmaker, US-born cleric

    Read more

COMMENT(S)