Al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch urged Muslims around the world to kill U.S. diplomats and attack American embassies in response to a U.S.-made anti-Islam film, according to a statement posted on Islamist websites on Saturday.
“Whoever comes across U.S. ambassadors or envoys should follow the example of Omar al-Mokhtar’s descendants in Libya, who killed the American ambassador,” the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said.
The statement referred to Tuesday’s attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, which claimed the lives of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other officials.
The ambassador’s death came one day after al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, posted a video on Jihadist forums urging Libyans to avenge the killing of the network’s second in command, Abu Yahya al-Libi, in a U.S. drone strike earlier this year in Pakistan.
“Efforts should lead to one goal, which is to expel the embassies of America from Muslim countries. Let the demonstrations continue, to set fire in these embassies as our brothers did in Egypt and Yemen,” read the statement.
Demonstrators attacked U.S. and European embassies on Friday in several Muslim countries as protests spread against an anti-Islam internet video.
Two people were killed in rioting at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, the Tunisian capital, whilst Egyptian security forces on Saturday cleared the streets around the U.S. Embassy in Cairo of demonstrators.
The government in Dhaka on Saturday condemned the film, following several-thousand strong demonstrations in Bangladesh.
Al-Qaeda also called on Muslims living in the West to be involved in attacks on key targets, and described the film as “another chapter in the crusader wars” against Islam.
AQAP, which is currently seen as the most active branch of al-Qaeda, comprises mostly of militants from Yemen and Saudi Arabia.