Al Qaeda’s No. 2 asks Pakistanis for help
CAIRO - Al Qaeda’s deputy leader called on Pakistanis to join his group’s holy war against the United States in Pakistan and Afghanistan and warned they could face the destruction of both countries and provoke God’s wrath if they do not do so.
Ayman al-Zawahri’s audio message was posted on the Internet on Tuesday.
Zawahri’s message was probably aimed at undercutting popular support for the Pakistani military’s offensive against militants along the border with Afghanistan by casting the campaign as a US plot to control the country. He delivered the message in English, which is much more widely spoken in Pakistan than Arabic. He used the same tactic in a message to the Pakistani people last August.
Zawahri pointed his finger at “a clique of corrupt politicians and a junta of military officers who are fighting to remain on the American pay list by employing Pakistan’s entire military and all its resources in the American crusade against Islam.’’
Zawahri said the only hope to save Pakistan from the “disastrous fate’’ of American control was jihad, or holy war.
“It is the individual duty of every Muslim in Pakistan to join the mujahideen, or at the very least to support the jihad in Pakistan and Afghanistan with money, advice, expertise, information, communications, shelter, and anything else he can offer,’’ Zawahri said.