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Wanted Yemeni preacher calls for jihad against U.S.

A radical Muslim preacher wanted dead or alive by American and Yemeni authorities called on Muslim scholars in a videotape released Monday to promote jihad against U.S., Israeli and Iranian interests in the region.
/ Source: staff and news service reports

A U.S.-born radical Yemeni cleric linked to previous attacks on the U.S. called for Muslims around world to kill Americans in a new video message posted on radical websites Monday.

Anwar al-Awlaki said since all Americans are the enemy, clerics don't need to issue any special fatwas or religious rulings allowing them to be killed.

"Don't consult with anybody in killing the Americans, fighting the devil doesn't require consultation or prayers seeking divine guidance. They are the party of the devils," he said. "We are two opposites who will never come together."

In the 23-minute Arabic language message entitled "Make it known and clear to mankind," al-Awlaki said that for Americans and Muslims it was "either us or them."

Born in New Mexico, al-Awlaki has used his website and English-language sermons to encourage Muslims around the world to kill U.S. troops in Iraq and has been tied by U.S. intelligence to the 9/11 hijackers, underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, as well as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in November at Fort Hood, Texas.

U.S. investigators say since he returned to Yemen in 2006, al-Awlaki has moved beyond just inspiring militants to becoming an active operative in al-Qaida's affiliate there.

Separately on Monday, the Yemeni foreign minister said other foreign nations should help country to build up their security forces and provide training and equipment. He said that the United States provides intelligence to Yemen but Yemeni forces conduct operations.

AQAP claims cargo bombs
On Friday, the Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for sending bombs through the mail in packages addressed to the U.S. which was thwarted a week ago.

This is the first full posting of the video, after clips of it were released on Oct. 23, two weeks before the mail bombs were uncovered.

Al-Awlaki also attacked rulers in the Arab world, particularly Yemen, describing them as corrupt and he called on religious scholars to declare them "non-Muslims" for betraying the Muslim people.

"Kings, emirs, and presidents are now not qualified to lead the nation, or even a flock of sheep," he said. "If the leaders are corrupt, the scholars have the responsibility to lead the nation."

He added that these leaders would have to be removed for the Muslim people to move forward.

The only way Muslims were going to protect themselves from the threat of the infidels was by supporting the "mujahedeen," he said, referring to those fighting for al-Qaida.

"If we support the mujahedeen, we will win it all and if we let them down, we will lose it all," he said while wearing traditional Yemeni clothes with a dagger at his belt sitting behind a desk.