Al Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahri urges Sudanese to prepare for war against the West
Qaeda's Zawahri tells Sudanese to prepare for war
Al Qaeda's second-in-command urged the Sudanese to prepare for guerrilla war against the West after President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's war crimes indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC).See further reports at Sudan Watch, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 - Bin Laden deputy calls for Sudan jihad (Update 8)
In an Internet message posted on Tuesday, Ayman al-Zawahri said: "Make preparations by training, equipping, storing and organizing for a long guerrilla war, because the modern-day Crusade (Westerners) has bared its fangs at you."
The ICC issued the indictment this month against Bashir for war crimes in the Darfur region where, experts say, fighting has killed at least 200,000 people since 2003.
Zawahri said the ruling was a ploy by Western powers to interfere in Sudan, a Muslim country.
"I am not defending Omar al-Bashir or his regime, nor am I defending what it has done in Darfur and elsewhere..."
"The issue isn't one of Darfur and solving its problems. It is about finding an excuse for more foreign interference in the Muslim countries in the framework of the contemporary crusader-Zionist campaign," Zawahri said on the audio recording.
The authenticity of the 17-minute recording could not be verified but it was issued by al Qaeda's media arm As-Sahab and posted on main Islamist websites. The speaker sounded like in earlier recordings by Zawahri.
Zawahri said world leaders ranging from former U.S. President George W. Bush to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and senior Israeli officials deserved to be put on trial.
"Indeed, why didn't they try (former U.S. President Harry S.) Truman, who ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the first atomic bombs in history?," the militant leader asked.
(Reporting by Firouz Sedarat)