Al-Qaida chief urges lone wolf attacks, militant unity

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CAIRO (Reuters) -- Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on young Muslim men in the United States and other Western countries to carry out attacks inside there and urged greater unity between militants.

"I call on all Muslims who can harm the countries of the crusader coalition not to hesitate. We must now focus on moving the war to the heart of the homes and cities of the crusader West and specifically America," he said in an audio recording posted online on Sunday, referring to nations making up the Western-led coalition in Iraq and Syria.

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Mullah Omar death, recent events surrounding the Taliban
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Al-Qaida chief urges lone wolf attacks, militant unity
An Afghan newspaper headlines pictures of the new leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, left, and Mullah Mohammad Omar, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015. The new leader of the Afghan Taliban vowed to continue his group's bloody, nearly 14-year insurgency in an audio message released Saturday, urging his fighters to remain unified after the death of their longtime leader. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Graphic shows gives some information on the top leaders in the Taliban; 2c x 4 1/2 inches; 96.3 mm x 114 mm;
An Afghan man holds a calendar bearing the images of Afghan leaders including the Taliban's late chief Mullah Omar (bottom 2nd L) in Kandahar on July 31, 2015. The Taliban named Mullah Akhtar Mansour as their new leader July 31, a historic power transition that raises hopes the relative moderate's leadership will pave the way for an end to Afghanistan's bloody war. AFP PHOTO / Javed Tanveer (Photo credit should read JAVED TANVEER/AFP/Getty Images)
An Afghan shop clerk shows a calendar with pictures of Afghan leaders including Mullah Mohammad Omar, center, in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, July 30, 2015. The Taliban confirmed the death of longtime leader Mullah Omar and appointed his successor Thursday, as a new round of peace talks was indefinitely postponed amid concerns over how committed the new leadership is to ending the militant group's 14-year insurgency. (AP Photo/Barialai Khoshhal)
Hafiz Saeed, leader of Pakistan's religious group Jamaatud Dawa, front, leads a funeral prayers for Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar at a mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, July 30, 2015. Afghanistan's Taliban on Thursday confirmed the death of Mullah Omar, who led the group's self-styled Islamic emirate in the 1990s, sheltered al-Qaida through the 9/11 attacks and led a 14-year insurgency against U.S. and NATO troops. (AP Photo/Ahmed Ali)
An Afghan store clerk shows a calendar with pictures of Afghan leaders including Mullah Mohammad Omar, bottom row, second left, in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, July 30, 2015. The Taliban confirmed the death of longtime leader Mullah Omar and appointed his successor Thursday, as a new round of peace talks was indefinitely postponed amid concerns over how committed the new leadership is to ending the militant group's 14-year insurgency. (AP Photo/Barialai Khoshhal)
A man reads a newspaper at a news stand where local newspapers are displayed carrying headlines about the death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Thursday, July 30, 2015. Afghanistan's Taliban on Thursday confirmed the death of Mullah Omar, who led the group's self-styled Islamic emirate in the 1990s, sheltered al-Qaida through the 9/11 attacks and led a 14-year insurgency against U.S. and NATO troops. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
Deputy press secretary Eric Schultz speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. White House says reports of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar's death are credible.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack after clashes with Taliban fighters in front of the Parliament, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, June 22, 2015. The Taliban launched a complex attack on the Afghan parliament Monday, with a suicide car bomber striking at the entrance and gunmen battling police as lawmakers were meeting inside to confirm the appointment of a defense minister, police and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Deputy presidential spokesman Zafar Hashimi speaks during a press conference in Kabul on July 29, 2015. The Afghan government is investigating reports of the death of Taliban supremo Mullah Omar, a presidential spokesman said on July 29, amid frenzied speculation about the rumoured demise of the reclusive warrior-cleric.The Taliban have not officially confirmed the death of Mullah Omar, who has not been seen publicly since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taliban government in Kabul.  (Photo credit: SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistan members of Jamiat Nazriati party march in a rally to pay tribute to Afghanistan's deceased Taliban chief Mullah Omar, in Quetta on August 2, 2015. New Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour called for unity in the movement August 1, in his first audio message since becoming head of the group that faces deepening splits following the death of longtime chief Mullah Omar. AFP PHOTO / Banaras KHAN (Photo credit should read BANARAS KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
An Afghan man reads a local newspaper at a news stand carrying a headline about the new leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015. The new leader of the Afghan Taliban vowed to continue his group's bloody, nearly 14-year insurgency in an audio message released Saturday, urging his fighters to remain unified after the death of their longtime leader. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Supporters of a Pakistani religious group 'Jamaat-ud-Dawa' attend funeral prayers for Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar at a mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015. Afghanistan's Taliban on Thursday confirmed the death of Mullah Omar, who led the group's self-styled Islamic emirate in the 1990s, sheltered al-Qaida through the 9/11 attacks and led a 14-year insurgency against U.S. and NATO troops. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
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He suggested Muslim youth in the West take the Tsarnaev and Kouachi brothers, who carried out the Boston marathon bombings and Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris respectively, and others as examples to follow.

It was not clear when the recording was made but references to former Taliban leader Mullah Mohamed Omar as being alive suggest it is at least two months old. Omar's death was announced by Afghanistan's government in late July.

Zawahri reiterated his position on Islamic State, repeating what he said in a recording posted on Wednesday - that he viewed the group's claim to be a caliphate as illegitimate but would join them in fighting Western and secular forces in Iraq and Syria.

Former Egyptian doctor Zawahri urged unity between Islamist militant factions in Syria and Iraq, where a Western-led coalition is bombing Islamic State targets, but recognized it would he be difficult. He called for the formation of an independent sharia court to settle disputes.

18 PHOTOS
Afghan guesthouse attack, Taliban
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Al-Qaida chief urges lone wolf attacks, militant unity
An Afghan policeman stands at the entrance of the Park Palace guesthouse in Kabul on May 14, 2015. An American was among five people killed when gunmen stormed a downtown Kabul guesthouse, trapping dozens of people attending a concert and triggering an hours-long standoff with Afghan security forces, officials said on May 14. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the overnight siege on the Park Palace, but it comes as the Taliban, who have waged many attacks on locations frequented by foreigners, press their annual spring offensive. AFP PHOTO / SHAH Marai (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan men walk past the Park Palace guesthouse in Kabul on May 14, 2015. An American was among five people killed when gunmen stormed a downtown Kabul guesthouse, trapping dozens of people attending a concert and triggering an hours-long standoff with Afghan security forces, officials said on May 14. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the overnight siege on the Park Palace, but it comes as the Taliban, who have waged many attacks on locations frequented by foreigners, press their annual spring offensive. AFP PHOTO / SHAH Marai (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan guests who were stuck inside a Kabul guesthouse walk after they were rescued by the security forces on May 13, 2015. Gunmen stormed a Kabul guesthouse popular with foreigners late on May 13 ahead of a planned concert, Afghan officials said, with people believed trapped inside and several casualties feared.No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Park Place guesthouse in downtown Kabul, but the assault comes as the Taliban -- who have attacked such guesthouses in the past -- press their annual spring offensive.(Photo credit: SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a Park Palace Hotel attack by Taliban militants, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Gunmen have stormed a guesthouse in the Afghan capital used by both foreigners and locals, sparking a gun battle with police The attackers targeted Kabul's Park Palace Hotel on Wednesday night Kabul police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi says the gunmen were still shooting at his officers. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
An Afghan policeman blocks a road near the Park Place guesthouse in Kabul on May 13, 2015 after gunmen stormed the place ahead of a planned concert, Afghan officials said, with people believed trapped inside and several casualties feared.. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Park Place guesthouse in downtown Kabul, but the assault comes as the Taliban -- who have attacked such guesthouses in the past -- press their annual spring offensive. AFP PHOTO / SHAH MARAI (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
An Afghan policeman stands guard by the Park Palace Hotel after an attack by Taliban militants, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Gunmen have stormed a guesthouse in the Afghan capital used by both foreigners and locals, sparking a gun battle with police The attackers targeted Kabul's Park Palace Hotel on Wednesday night Kabul police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi says the gunmen were still shooting at his officers. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
Afghan policemen stand guard near the Park Place guesthouse in Kabul on May 13, 2015 after gunmen stormed the guesthouse ahead of a planned concert, Afghan officials said, with people believed trapped inside and several casualties feared.. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Park Place guesthouse in downtown Kabul, but the assault comes as the Taliban -- who have attacked such guesthouses in the past -- press their annual spring offensive.  (Photo credit: SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a Park Palace Hotel attack by Taliban militants, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Gunmen have stormed a guesthouse in the Afghan capital used by both foreigners and locals, sparking a gun battle with police The attackers targeted Kabul's Park Palace Hotel on Wednesday night Kabul police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi says the gunmen were still shooting at his officers. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
Afghan police officers stand gaurd near the Park Place guesthouse in Kabul early on May 14, 2015. Gunmen stormed a Kabul guesthouse popular with foreigners late on May 13 ahead of a planned concert, Afghan officials said, with people believed trapped inside and several casualties feared.No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Park Place guesthouse in downtown Kabul, but the assault comes as the Taliban -- who have attacked such guesthouses in the past -- press their annual spring offensive. (Photo credit: FARSHAD USYAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan police officers stand gaurd near the Park Place guesthouse in Kabul early on May 14, 2015. Gunmen stormed a Kabul guesthouse popular with foreigners late on May 13 ahead of a planned concert, Afghan officials said, with people believed trapped inside and several casualties feared.No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Park Place guesthouse in downtown Kabul, but the assault comes as the Taliban -- who have attacked such guesthouses in the past -- press their annual spring offensive.  (Photo credit: FARSHAD USYAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a Park Palace Hotel attack by Taliban militants, in Kabul,Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Gunmen have stormed a guesthouse in the Afghan capital used by both foreigners and locals, sparking a gun battle with police The attackers targeted Kabul's Park Palace Hotel on Wednesday night Kabul police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi says the gunmen were still shooting at his officers. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
An Afghan policeman blocks a road near the Park Place guesthouse in Kabul on May 13, 2015 after gunmen stormed the place ahead of a planned concert, Afghan officials said, with people believed trapped inside and several casualties feared.. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Park Place guesthouse in downtown Kabul, but the assault comes as the Taliban -- who have attacked such guesthouses in the past -- press their annual spring offensive. AFP PHOTO / SHAH MARAI (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
An Afghan police officer stands guard near the Park Place guesthouse in Kabul early on May 14, 2015. Gunmen stormed a Kabul guesthouse popular with foreigners late on May 13 ahead of a planned concert, Afghan officials said, with people believed trapped inside and several casualties feared. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Park Place guesthouse in downtown Kabul, but the assault comes as the Taliban -- who have attacked such guesthouses in the past -- press their annual spring offensive. AFP PHOTO / SHAH MARAI (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan police officers keep watch near the Park Place guesthouse in Kabul early on May 14, 2015. Gunmen stormed a Kabul guesthouse popular with foreigners late on May 13 ahead of a planned concert, Afghan officials said, with people believed trapped inside and several casualties feared. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Park Place guesthouse in downtown Kabul, but the assault comes as the Taliban -- who have attacked such guesthouses in the past -- press their annual spring offensive. AFP PHOTO / SHAH MARAI (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
An Afghan policeman blocks a road near the Park Place guesthouse in Kabul on May 13, 2015 after gunmen stormed the place ahead of a planned concert, Afghan officials said, with people believed trapped inside and several casualties feared.. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Park Place guesthouse in downtown Kabul, but the assault comes as the Taliban -- who have attacked such guesthouses in the past -- press their annual spring offensive. AFP PHOTO / SHAH MARAI (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
An Afghan policeman stands guard near the Park Place guesthouse in Kabul on May 13, 2015 after gunmen stormed the guesthouse ahead of a planned concert, Afghan officials said, with people believed trapped inside and several casualties feared.. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Park Place guesthouse in downtown Kabul, but the assault comes as the Taliban -- who have attacked such guesthouses in the past -- press their annual spring offensive. AFP PHOTO / SHAH MARAI (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
An Afghan woman walks past the Park Palace guesthouse in Kabul on May 14, 2015. An American was among five people killed when gunmen stormed a downtown Kabul guesthouse, trapping dozens of people attending a concert and triggering an hours-long standoff with Afghan security forces, officials said on May 14. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the overnight siege on the Park Palace, but it comes as the Taliban, who have waged many attacks on locations frequented by foreigners, press their annual spring offensive. AFP PHOTO / SHAH Marai (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)
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