Al-Qaeda in Yemen urges all militants to target America

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula calls on all Islamist groups ‘to go after America as part of its plan for jihad’

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Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the group’s deadliest franchises, called on Islamists to target the United States, after Washington launched air strikes in Iraq against Islamist militants who operate as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In a statement published on a Twitter account affiliated with the franchise’s local affiliate, Ansar al-Shariah, AQAP said on Thursday:

“... We declare our solidarity with our Muslim brothers in Iraq.”

“We call on all Islamist groups ... to go after America as part of its plan for jihad, militarily, economically, or through the media.”

“And we call on every Muslim, especially anyone who can enter America, to champion his brothers by going to war against America with everything he can.”

Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the Twitter account.

After its capture of the northern Iraq metropolis of Mosul in June, ISIS swiftly pushed to the borders of the autonomous ethnic Kurdish region, alarming Baghdad. Last week it drew the first U.S. air strikes in Iraq since the withdrawal of American troops in 2011.

The group has been disowned by al-Qaeda, which considered it as too radical after it took control of large parts of Syria.

Nevertheless, the AQAP franchise offered their “brothers” in Iraq some advice on dealing with U.S. drone strikes that the Yemen-based group has had to contend with for the past few years.

In its statement, AQAP advised its fellow Islamist fighters to be wary of spies “because they are the main factor in specifying targets,” to be careful when dealing with telephones and Internet networks, and to disperse in fields if there is a heavy concentration of planes.

“We reaffirm to our Muslim nation that we stand in one trench with our Muslim brothers in Iraq against the American Crusader and Iranian conspiracy,” the statement said.

Earlier this week a top AQAP leader hailed the ISIS’ seizure of swathes of Iraq.

In a related story, three Yemeni soldiers and two al-Qaeda militants were killed when security forces foiled an attack by insurgents in the eastern province of Hadramout on Thursday, medical sources told Reuters.

The state news agency Saba said security forces had confronted al Qaeda militants who had placed three car bombs in the Hadramout provincial capital of al-Mukallah. It said several militants were killed and several soldiers wounded.

“The fighters ... managed to destroy three car bombs in the Sitteen street in al-Mukallah before they reached their targets,” Saba said, quoting a military source.

Ansar al-Sharia claimed the attack on a Twitter account. Reuters was not immediately able to verify the authenticity of the account.

The group said last week it killed 14 soldiers in an eastern province as revenge for an army offensive against its members.

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