Al Qaeda’s general command renews calls for attacks against American, European, and Israeli interests around the world

In a new statement released online, Al-Qaeda’s general command, or its central leadership, which is often erroneously called “core al-Qaeda,” renewed its longstanding calls for attacks against Americans, Israelis, and institutions and interests related to both countries around the world. The threats were made in the context of the Israeli Defense Force’s (IDFs) battle on Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital. 

“May God bless all the mujahideen and marabout who refused to flee from the land of faith and its sacred soil,” al-Qaeda’s statement begins. “Peace be upon all those who are steadfast, patient, and persevering…may God reward you for your affliction for the thousands of believing souls among our brothers and sisters who have been martyred in the American-Zionist bombing campaigns on hospitals, schools, and mosques in Gaza.” 

Al-Qaeda continues by saying that “Our dear Ummah [worldwide Islamic community], the repeated American-Zionist bombings on hospitals, schools, and mosques in Gaza can only come from souls filled with evil and absolute hatred.” The statement goes on to read that “such things do not come from souls that have been touched by even modicum of humanity.” 

And that “what the Zionists and Crusaders are chanting these days, we challenge the entire world to publish honest pictures [about the fighting]” as “children were killed in this barbaric and hideous manner.” According to al-Qaeda – who is notorious for killing men, women, and children alike – “this is not a characteristic of the people of Islam and their actions…there is no room for anyone in the world to lecture our Ummah about “civilization” and “humanity.””

In regards to the fighting at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, the site of massive media scrutiny in the last week over the IDFs claims that Hamas uses it for its operations, al-Qaeda states that “they [Israelis] and the Americans complained that this hospital was the center of jihadi leadership in Gaza.”

However, “it became clear after all this blatant dishonesty that there was no trace of a single gunman in it.” According to al-Qaeda, the real purpose of targeting the Al-Shifa Hospital was to “destroy the medical devices” within and prolong the suffering of its patients. 

In addition to calling for general boycotts of American and “Zionist” [read: Jewish] commercial products, al-Qaeda calls on its men and supporters around the world to also target American and European military bases around the world. “The missiles that our burning our proud brothers in Gaza come from American and European military bases that are sitting on our chests…it does no good for the people of Islam if we do not invade [them] and expel the killers of our people in Gaza.” 

Al-Qaeda goes one step further and also calls for attacks on American, European, and Israeli embassies around the world. “They [the embassies] are legitimate targets for our people and for the Islamic Ummah. We call on the youth of Ummah to storm them and burn them and follow in the path of the youth in Benghazi on the day they slaughtered and dragged the American ambassador through the streets a few years ago.” 

Ending the statement, al-Qaeda also calls on supporters in the West to mobilize in saying that “O sons of the Ummmah from the Muslim communities amongst the arrogant West: your opportunity today to support your brothers in great. So you must kill and abuse the Zionists, but do not consult anyone in killing them or destroying their property.”  

Al-Qaeda and its various branches have long attempted to mobilize attacks around the world – including in the West – on the basis of the Israel-Palestine conflict. While it does not have any meaningful role in the conflict itself, it has proven capable of mobilizing fighters and supporters elsewhere to commit acts of terror in the name of the conflict.

Caleb Weiss is an editor of FDD's Long War Journal and a senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, where he focuses on the spread of the Islamic State in Central Africa.

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