May 7, 2012 0
A video of Warren Weinstein, an American Jew who was abducted in Pakistan last August, was released by Al Qaeda yesterday. In the video, Weinstein begs President Obama to “please accept and respond to the demands of the mujahideen,” calling them “easy.”
“My life is in your hands, Mr. President. If you accept the demands I live; if you don’t accept the demands then I die… Don’t delay… it will just make things more difficult for me.”
Weinstein, who appears thin in the video, also criticizes the U.S. government, saying that despite his years of public service (Weinstein had a long career working for various government agencies), not enough has been done to secure his release.
In videos released since Weinstein’s capture, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri claimed responsibility and specifically highlighted Weinstein’s Jewish identity when discussing the demands for his release: “The American Jew… will not return to his family, by the will of Allah, until our demands are met, which include the release of Aafia Siddique, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the family of Sheikh Osama bin Laden, and every single person arrested on allegations of links with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.”
Other demands include the lifting of the Gaza blockade; a halt to American and allied attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza; and the closure of Guantanamo.
March 28, 2012 0
Members of several online jihadist forums have praised Mohammed Merah for his attacks on French Jews and soldiers. Comments on these forums include calls for similar lone-wolf attacks and describe Merah’s shootings as Allah’s revenge on France for its foreign policy and attitude toward Muslims.
Over the weekend, a video tribute to Merah entitled “The Lone Lion” also began circulating on the forums. The video begins with text commending Merah for killing “three French soldiers returning from Afghanistan” and “a Jewish rabbi and his children.” It also applauds him for fighting “the French special forces with courage until he was killed as a martyr.”
Funeral footage of Merah’s victims in France and Israel is juxtaposed with images of bleeding Palestinians and videos of Israeli airstrikes carried out by “the enemies of Allah, the Jews.” This section suggests the type of moral equivalence that Merah claimed prompted him to undertake his attacks.
The video also includes recordings of Osama bin Laden speaking about a promised war “between us and the Jews” and of current Al Qaeda leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, describing England and the U.S. as legitimate targets because of the civilian casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza.
The video concludes with a warning, apparently directed at French President Nicolas Sarkozy, that Merah’s wave of terror “is the beginning.”
February 16, 2012 0
Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab, a terrorist group seeking to establish an Islamic state in Somalia, have issued a joint communique announcing the formal merger of their groups.