Al-Qaida calls on members to 'kill Americans'



Al-Qaida is calling on its members to "kill Americans" in retaliation for an airstrike last week that allegedly destroyed a mosque.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 49 Syrians were killed in the Thursday night bombing, initially describing it as a "massacre." The Pentagon confirms it carried out the strike, but denies it hit a mosque.

The terror group al-Qaida, which was the stated target of the bombing, released an official statement on the message app Telegram, titled "Kill the Americans without consulting anyone." It blames "America and its damned president Trump" for the killing and wounding of "more than 300 worshipers" in a mosque in al-Jinah west of Aleppo, north Syria. (The terror group has a history of overstating casualties.)

The message, published in English, urges 'Muslims in general and the youth of Islam in particular" to "kill Americans" on their own, without asking anyone. It quotes an old message by Osama bin Laden that "neither America, not those who live in America, will [even] dream of security until we see it on the ground in Palestine and before we expel all the infidel armies from the land of Muhammad."

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In its denial, the U.S. rejected claims of killing of civilians, and also released an aerial photograph it says shows a mosque in the area which is still standing across the street from a building that had been reduced to rubble by the strike. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a spokesman, claimed that dozens of core al-Qaida leaders were killed in the raid conducted by manned and unmanned aircraft. "We struck a meeting of senior al-Qaida terrorists, some of these were likely high-value individuals," he said.

This isn't the first time al-Qaida has tried to capitalize on American airstrikes. Vocativ reported that the botched U.S. counter-terrorism raid in Yemen last month that brought President Donald Trump his first military death since taking office re-energized al-Qaida. It called Trump a "fool" and called upon supporters to "burn the land underneath America's feet."

Al Qaida's branch in Syria, formerly known as Nusra Front, has made parts of the country's northwest a terror safe haven. Six years into the Syrian civil war, it's taken advantage of the chaos to build one of the most effective forces countering Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It rebranded itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham last summer and, and in January 2017, formed an alliance with other Islamist Syrian rebel groups. The new union is an attempt to unite Al-Qaida and other Islamist groups against the US coalition.

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Inside the sheer terror of the front line of Mosul
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Inside the sheer terror of the front line of Mosul
A man cries as he carries his daughter while walking from an Islamic State-controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq March 4, 2017. Reuters Photographer Goran Tomasevic: "Both screaming in terror, a father and the young daughter he cradled in his arm fled through the rubble-strewn streets of Wadi Hajar, transformed in a flash into a battleground between Islamic State fighters and Iraqi special forces. They and their neighbours - some wearing rubber sandals, some barefoot - were running from an IS counter-attack in this part of Mosul, dodging gunfire as the militants closed in. When they reached the special forces lines, males were ordered to lift their shirts to prove they weren't suicide bombers. Some had to take off their clothes or show their belts, though not those carrying children. The father was so beside himself, so panicked. It was obvious because he had a short shirt on and was carrying a child that he wasn?t Islamic State. I believe they will both be taken to a refugee camp." REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic SEARCH "TOMASEVIC FATHER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An Iraqi special forces soldier helps a family carry their child to cross from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul to Iraqi forces controlled part of Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An Iraqi special forces soldier fires at a drone operated by Islamic State militants Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An Iraqi family walks from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Men and woman cry while carrying a child as they run from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An Iraqi special forces soldier checks men for explosive belts as they cross from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul to Iraqi forces controlled part of Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Iraqi special forces soldiers walk in a street in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
A woman cries after crossing from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul to Iraqi forces controlled part of Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
A man runs from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Iraqi policemen walk during an airstrike against Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
A man gestures as he walks from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
A man cries while he carries his daughter as he walks from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
A man cries while carrying his daughter as he walks from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017. Picture taken March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
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The post Al-Qaida Calls On Members To 'Kill Americans' appeared first on Vocativ.

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