Al Qaeda backs Libyan protesters and condemns Gaddafi

DUBAI Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:59am EST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's North African wing has condemned Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and expressed solidarity with protesters revolting against his rule, the SITE Intelligence Group quoted it as saying on Thursday.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) accused Gaddafi of hiring African mercenaries and ordering aircraft to fire on protestors, SITE said, citing a jihadist statement issued on Thursday.

AQIM urged Muslim scholars, thinkers and journalists to support the Libyan people in their uprising.

"We were pained by the carnage and the cowardly massacres carried out by the killer of innocents Gaddafi against our people and our unarmed Muslim brothers who only came to lift his oppression, his disbelief, his tyranny and his might," AQIM was quoted as saying in the statement.

"We only came out to defend you against these despots who usurped your rights, plundered your wealth, and prevented you from having the minimum requirements of a dignified life and the simplest meanings of freedom and human dignity," AQIM said.

The group, under pressure from Algerian security forces in the north, moved some of its operations to the desert area straddling Niger, Mali, Algeria and Mauritania where the vast expanses and porous borders have provided it with a safe haven.

Massive protests have swept through Arab countries in past weeks, threatening Gaddafi's four-decade rule after toppling the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia.

"We call upon the Muslim Libyan people to have steadfastness and patience, and we incite them to continue their struggle and revolution and to escalate it to oust the criminal tyrant," the group said.

(Reporting by Martina Fuchs; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

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Comments (5)
John-B wrote:
Al Quaeda “pained by the carnage and cowardly massacres”? How disingenuous! But you could see this coming. Better keep our eyes and ears open and our mouth shut till we are sure where these uprisings are coming from and where they are headed.

Feb 24, 2011 6:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
MrEz wrote:
Beware of those who will ride the gravy train and gobble up your glory in the end. There are many wolves awaiting to fill Qaddafis shoes and will do unto the people exactly what they are fighting to avoid

Feb 24, 2011 6:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
MrEz wrote:
If you hire a hitman to do your dirty work you and the hitman are prosecuted. Shouldnt this work the same for governments and thier hired guns?

Feb 24, 2011 7:01am EST  --  Report as abuse
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