CAIRO (Reuters) – Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri said the United States faced a Muslim rebellion following the death of Osama bin Laden, according to a video recording posted on YouTube and monitored on Wednesday.
The Egyptian-born Zawahri devoted much of his 28-minute recording to mourning bin Laden, who was killed in a raid by U.S. special forces on his home in Pakistan in May after a nearly 10-year worldwide hunt.
“The sheikh has departed, may God have mercy on him, to his God as a martyr and we must continue on his path of jihad to expel the invaders from the land of Muslims and to purify it from injustice,” Zawahri said.
“Today, and thanks be to God, America is not facing an individual or a group … but a rebelling nation which has awoken from its sleep in a jihadist renaissance.”
Zawahri has long been seen as the brains and potential successor to bin Laden, founder of al Qaeda, which carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
But Al Jazeera television has said that another Egyptian militant called Saif al-Adl has been named as temporary leader of the group following bin Laden’s death.
(Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Sami Aboudi)
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