AFP: Al-Qaeda leader calls on Muslims to kidnap Westerners

AFP – Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has urged Egyptians to restart their revolution to press for Islamic law and called on Muslims to kidnap Westerners, the SITE Intelligence Group said Friday.

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CCI Analysis: Although al-Zawahiri does not enjoy the same charismatic following Osama bin Laden did, he is the primary spokesman for the al Qaeda franchise. CCI believes that there is a clear potential for al Qaeda entities and sympathizers to act on al Zawahiri’s instructions and kidnap westerners. Faith based organizations should understand that if such kidnappings occur, they will be responding to political, not financial demands and that traditional business-oriented negotiation strategies will be ineffective. Faith-based personnel in Afghanistan, Pakistan and areas influenced by AQAP (e.g., Yemen) and AQIM (e.g., Mali, Niger and the Sahel) are at highest risk from this threat.