With calls for more foreign fighters. “Attack Ethiopia troops, Qaeda leader urges Somalis,” from Reuters:
DUBAI (Reuters) – A purported audio tape message by al Qaeda’s deputy leader urged Somali Islamists on Friday to launch an Iraq-style guerrilla campaign of suicide and other forms of attacks against Ethiopian forces in Somalia.
Ethiopian forces helped Somalia’s interim government rout Islamists in a two-week war.
“As happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, when the world’s strongest power was defeated by the campaigns of the mujahideen troops going to heaven, so its slaves shall be defeated on the Muslim lands of Somalia,” said Ayman al-Zawahri, deputy to al Qaeda leader
Osama bin Laden.
“You must ambush, mine, raid and (carry out) martyrdom campaigns so that you can wipe them out,” he said.
The tape was posted on a Web site used by militant Islamist groups. The authenticity of the tape could not be immediately verified by Reuters but correspondents familiar with Zawahri’s voice believed it belonged to al Qaeda’s deputy leader.
Zawahri urged the Islamists not to be disheartened by their setback.
“The real battle will begin with your campaign against the Ethiopian troops,” said Zawahri, an Egyptian cleric who issues regular messages over the Internet or through video tapes.
“I call on the Islamic nation in Somalia to remain steadfast in this new theater of the Crusader wars that the United States, its allies and the United Nations is waging against Islam.”
Zawahri criticized the U.N. Security Council’s failure to issue a resolution demanding Ethiopian troops withdraw from Somalia and said plans to send peacekeepers to the troubled Horn of Africa provided political cover for Ethiopia’s invasion.
The interim government wants a foreign peacekeeping force, approved by the United Nations before the war, to be deployed as soon as possible. New U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Thursday for its quick deployment and welcomed Ethiopia’s plan to pull it troops out of Somalia in a few weeks.
Zawahri urged Islamist groups in Yemen, Gulf Arab states, Egypt, Sudan and north Africa to help Somalia’s Islamists.
“I call on my Muslim brothers everywhere to fulfill the call for jihad in Somalia,” he said.