Al-Qaida’s second-in-command urged citizens of Egypt and Tunisia to create Islamic states in the wake of protests that unseated leaders there and warned that the United States is trying to manipulate the events to protect its interests, the Associated Press reports.
Al-Qaida deputy Ayman al-Zawahri recorded the remarks sometime between the Jan. 14 fall of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and the Feb. 11 fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
"Greetings to every free, honorable individual who was exposed to the bullets of the security herds to keep Islam as the master in his own country, preserve the headscarf of the Muslim sisters, stop normalization with Israel ... and protect his society from immorality, corruption and spoilage," al-Zawahri said in a 15-minute audiotape posted on an Islamic militant website late Sunday. It was the third tape in a three-part message about the protests.
Zawahri, who is Egyptian, took part in an Islamic militant insurgency that Mubarak’s regime put down in the 1990's. Al-Qaida has long accused Mubarak and Ben Ali of part of a global regime that was fighting Islam.