Zawahiri calls for ‘cleansing’ Maghreb of France, Spain

DUBAI (AFP) – Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri has called for Iberia to be restored to the Islamic world, saying the first step needs to be the ‘cleansing’ of Spaniards and French from the Maghreb. Zawahiri was speaking in an 81-minute documentary-style video entitled “The Power of Truth” made public on Thursday by the US-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors Islamist websites. “O our Muslim Ummah (community) in the Maghreb of ribat and jihad (land of resistance and holy war): restoring Al-Andalus is a trust on the shoulders of the Ummah in general and on your shoulders in particular,” he said.

‘Bin Laden Deputy’ Slams Scarf Ban

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) –A tape recording attributed to Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, criticized France’s decision to ban Islamic headscarves in schools, and described it as “part of the West’s campaign of hatred against Islam.” “The decision of the French president to issue a law to prevent Muslim girls from covering their heads in schools is another example of the Crusader and envy that the Westerners have against Muslims,” said the voice in the audiotape broadcast Tuesday on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite TV channel. “Banning the headscarves in France is in line with burning villages with its inhabitants in Afghanistan, bringing houses down on the heads of sleeping Palestinians, with killing children in Iraq and robbing their oil using false pretexts … (and) torturing [Muslims in the cells of Guantanamo,” the tape said. Al-Arabiya would not disclose how it acquired the tape from al Qaeda’s No. 2 man.