Tuesday, January 13, 2009




In an audio message, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No.2 to Osama bin Laden in Al Qaeda, has strongly criticised the Israeli military strikes againstthe jihadi terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in Gaza and President-elect Barack Obama for his silence on the Israeli strikes in Gaza.

2. He has told the Muslims of the world that just holding protest demonstrations against the Israeli strikes in Gaza would not be enough andcalled for attacks on Israeli interests all over the world.

3. He has said in his message: " My message is to Muslims everywhere. I say to them. This is Obama, whom the American machinery of liesattempted to portray before the world as the deliverer, who would change the policy of the US. He is killing your brothers and sisters in Gazawithout any mercy or compassion. I say to the enraged Muslim masses that set out to protest all over the Islamic world that thesedemonstrations will surely be not enough to confront their bombs--- but our Islamic rage should turn into effective and active actions thatwill shake the corners of the Zionist-Christian alliance with the help of Allah and His strength. O Muslims everywhere, give your response tothe call of Almighty Allah and perform the duty of individual jihad....O Muslims everywhere, fight against the Zionist-Christian campaign andstrike its interests wherever you encounter them."

4. While the message is addressed to Muslims all over the world, it mentions by name the Muslims of North Africa, Somalia,Egypt, SaudiArabia, Syria, Yemen,Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Chechnya in Russia.

5. Even though the appeal does not specifically mention the Muslims of India, it would be advisable to strengthen physical security forIsraeli nationals, interests and diplomatic and consular missions in India keeping in view the attack on Israeli nationals and other Jewishpersons by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), the Pakistani terrorist organisation, during its terrorist strike in Mumbai from November 26 to29,2008. In his confession before the US military tribunal in the Guantanamo Bay, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who is alleged to haveorchestrated the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the US, had reportedly stated that Al Qaeda had wanted to attack the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For TopicalStudies, Chennai, E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )