Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula denounces "crusader" French in Mali

DUBAI Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:27pm IST

Related Topics

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Yemen-based offshoot of Al Qaeda urged Muslims to sacrifice themselves and their money to help fend off what it called the "Crusader war" in Mali, according to a statement posted online on Tuesday.

France intervened in Mali last month to check a push south towards the capital Bamako by Islamist forces who seized control of the north of the country in the confusion that followed a military coup in March 2012.

Their surprise advance pushed Mali to the forefront of U.S. and European security concerns, with fears the Islamists would turn the country into a base for international attacks.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) compared the French intervention to what it called the "Zionist occupation of Palestine".

The group said supporting Muslims in Mali was "a duty for every able Muslim, to offer himself or his money, each according to his ability."

Formed in 2009, AQAP has carried suicide attacks on Yemeni government installations and military targets in Yemen. It was also behind a December 2009 plot to blow up a US airliner as it approached Detroit and a 2010 plan to send bombs hidden in computer printers on two cargo aircraft.

Former CIA director David Petraeus has described AQAP as the "most dangerous regional node in the global jihad".

The Mali offensive by French troops, which began last month, has pushed Islamist insurgents out of their strongholds in the north. But the militants launched a surprise raid in the heart of the Malian town of Gao on Sunday.

The brazenness of the rebel raid, which followed successive blasts by two suicide bombers at a northern checkpoint, was a surprise to the French-led military operation, which had so far faced little real resistance from the Islamists.

(Reporting by Ali Abdelatti in Cairo, writing by Sami Aboudi, Editing by WIlliam Maclean and John Stonestreet)

FILED UNDER:

World Wrap

Reuters Showcase

Putin Critic Killed

Putin Critic Killed

Russians march in memory of murdered Putin critic.  Full Article 

Pakistan's First Win

Pakistan's First Win

Irfan bounces Zimbabwe out as Pakistan claim first win.  Full Article 

Budget 2015

Budget 2015

Full coverage of 2015/16 budget.  Full Coverage 

Hacked to Death

Hacked to Death

Bangladesh pays tribute to U.S. blogger killed in machete attack.  Full Article 

The Apple Car

The Apple Car

Apple car rumours fuel Geneva debate about car of future.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is rooted in reality, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Crowded Market

Crowded Market

China's Huawei enters smartwatch frenzy with round-face models.  Full Article 

Lathmar Holi

In Pics: Lathmar Holi

Images of "Lathmar Holi" at Nandgaon in Uttar Pradesh.  Full Coverage 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage