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Homeland Security

Al-Qaida Leader Urges Algerian Overthrow; Calls for an Islamic Libya

VOA News October 12, 2011

Al-Qaida's leader has called for Algerians to follow the example of others in the Middle East and overthrow their government, and urged Libyans to establish an Islamic state.

In a video message posted on Islamist websites Wednesday, Ayman al-Zawahiri told Algerians to look at Tunisia and Libya, where popular uprisings this year toppled longtime leaders.

The 13-minute message included warnings to Libya to beware of "Western plots" and a claim that NATO would force Libyans to give up their Islamic faith.

The Egyptian-born Zawahiri also praised a cross-border attack in August in which at least eight Israelis were killed when militants crossed into southern Israel from the Sinai Peninsula.

In a July message, Zawahiri claimed solidarity with Syria's pro-democracy movement, while urging protesters there to direct their anti-government uprising also against the United States and Israel.

There is little evidence of al-Qaida influence in the wave of Arab Spring uprisings that have swept across much of North Africa and the Middle East this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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