DUBAI, (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s deputy leader Ayman al Zawahri warned his group would not stand by and watch Israel bombard Lebanon and the Palestinians, calling on Muslims in a video aired on Thursday to fight attacks on their countries.
Zawahri, in the tape aired by Al Jazeera television, did not say how al Qaeda would respond to the fighting.
“How can we remain silent while watching bombs raining on our people,” he asked. “Oh Muslims everywhere, I call on you to fight and become martyrs in the war against the Zionists and the Crusaders,” Zawahri said in the statement which was entitled “The Zionist-crusader war on Lebanon and the Palestinians”.
Zawahri’s statement was the first comment by the Sunni Muslim-dominated al Qaeda against Israel’s war on Lebanon which was sparked by the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Shi’ite Muslim guerrilla group Hezbollah.