Al Qaeda leader urges Muslims to join fight in Somalia
In this Wednesday, July 27, 2011 file photo provided by IntelCenter, an American private terrorist threat analysis company, purports to show Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a still image from a web posting by al Qaeda's media arm, as-Sahab. The image is not independently verified. (AP Photo/IntelCenter, File)
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2012 6:47AM EST
CAIRO -- Al Qaeda's leader is urging Muslims to join militants in Somalia in the battle against African Union troops, which he says have been boosted by U.S. support.
Ayman Al-Zawahri says Somalia's al Qaeda branch, al Shabab, should use guerrilla tactics and suicide bombings to wage jihad, or holy war.
Somalia had been in chaos for years, ruled by warlords and insurgents bent on creating an Islamic state. The militants, who once controlled nearly all of Mogadishu, have been gone from the capital for more than a year, and in September the African troops booted them out of their last urban stronghold, the port city of Kismayo.
In his seven-minute audio message posted late Tuesday on militant websites, al-Zawahri says the loss of Kismayo came after "clear, direct and flagrant support from the Americans."