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Last Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007, 11:24 GMT
Excerpts: 'Al-Qaeda' call to Somalis
Ayman Al-Zawahiri (still taken from Al-Jazeera)
Zawahiri urged Muslims to sacrifice themselves for Somalia
A recording said to be of al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has called on Muslims to support their "brothers" fighting jihad, or holy war, in Somalia.

In an audio recording posted on an Islamist website, the speaker criticises the UN Security Council for allowing "the crusader invading Ethiopian forces" to "violate the Islamic land" of Somalia.

Here are excerpts from the recording:

My Muslim brothers everywhere .. While I am addressing you today, the crusader invading Ethiopian forces are violating the Islamic land of dear Somalia. Moreover, the Security Council is plotting to approve this invasion by issuing its resolution to dispatch international forces to Somalia and by its failure to issue a resolution that calls for the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces from Somalia.

Here, I am urging the Islamic nation in Somalia to be steadfast in this new crusader battlefield, which America, its allies, and the United Nations are waging against Islam and Muslims.

The United Nations, which divided Palestine and provided a legal cover for invading Iraq and Afghanistan, is offering today a new service to the crusader alliance led by America against the Islamic and mujahid Somalia.

My Muslim brothers in Somalia: Do not be terrified by America's power as you have defeated it before, thanks to God and His grace.

Today, America is weaker than before as the mujahideen dealt a fatal blow to it in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hence, it sent its slaves to you. Therefore, do not be affected by the first shock, it is just worthless propaganda, arrogance, and haughtiness. The real battle will begin by launching your campaigns against the Ethiopian forces with God's help and might.

The faithful groups - in their pursuit of death for the sake of God - will devour the crusader invading Ethiopian Army, which has launched an aggression against the lands of Islam, God willing.

Similarly to what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq where the strongest world power has been defeated in the face of mujahid groups that long for paradise, its slaves will face similar defeat on the land of Muslim, mujahid Somalia, God willing.

I also appeal to my Muslim brethren everywhere to respond to the call for jihad in Somalia. I appeal to the lions of Islam in Yemen, the state of faith and wisdom, I appeal to my brothers the lions of Islam in the Arab Peninsula, the cradle of conquests, and I also appeal to my brothers the lions of Islam in Egypt, Sudan, the Arab Maghreb, and everywhere in the Muslim world to rise up to aid their Muslim brethren in Somalia through offering sacrifices, money, opinion, and expertise so as to defeat the slaves of America that it sends to death on its behalf.

I appeal to the Muslims everywhere to rush to support their brother mujahideen who are being encroached upon and are being fought by America and its slaves for they chose the law of Islam instead of the law of looting, plundering, theft, bribery, corruption, and treachery.

O Muslims in Somalia, I bring you good tidings: America and its slaves will be defeated with the help of God in Somalia, as God defeated them in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, you should be patient and steadfast.

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