Al-Qaeda chief says that jihadists should be cheered by America’s losses
In a new audio message addressed to Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, Ayman al Zawahiri cites the raids on US diplomatic facilities in September as evidence of American weakness.
Shabaab has suffered setbacks in recent months, including the loss of its stronghold in the port city of Kismayo. But in what amounts to a pep talk, Zawahiri says Shabaab’s spirits should be buoyed by the supposed losses suffered by America and its allies elsewhere.
“They were defeated in Iraq and they are withdrawing from Afghanistan, and their ambassador in Benghazi was killed and the flags of their embassies were lowered in Cairo and Sana’a, and in their places were raised the flags of tawhid [monotheism] and jihad,” Zawahiri says, according to a translation provided by the SITE Intelligence Group.
“After their consecutive defeats, they are working from behind agents and traitors,” Zawahiri continues. “Their awe is lost and their might is gone and they don’t dare to carry out a new campaign like their past ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Al Qaeda-linked extremists have been tied to the three assaults on US diplomatic facilities Zawahiri mentions.
Press reports have identified several al Qaeda-affiliated parties as being responsible for the Sept. 11 assault on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.