In February, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's #2, said he would personally answer questions sent to him. Norwegian paper Nettavisen then sent several questions in Arabic. The result came back in a two and half hour audio tape published this week on several sites which support al-Qaeda and which incite to holy war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two and half minutes were dedicated to Nettavisen's questions. (The audio file can be downloaded here, 2MB MP3, Arabic)
One of Nettavisen's questions was whether there's a connection between Mulla Krekar and al-Qaeda.
Al-Zawahiri: there is no connection between al-Qaeda and Mulla Krekar. We ask Allah to help him and free him. We caution against exraditing a Muslim to Muslim enemies. We think Norway will commit a criminal act if they extradite him to Iraq.
Al Zawahiri and al-Qaeda see the authorities in North-Iraq as enemies of Islam.
Q: Why did you as al-Qaeda deputy head threaten Norway in 2004, and are other Scandinavian countries a target for you? And in such a case, why?
A: Yes, we had threatened Norway. We threaten Norway because they took part in attacking Muslims. We have a right to protect our religious sovereignty, our nation, our sanctities and ourselves. Norway and Denmark went too far when they insulted the prophet Muhammed, especially Denmark which repeated the insult against the prophet.
Al-Zawahiri further said that he calls upon all Muslims to show sympathy with the prophet Muhammed by reacting against Norway and especially Denmark.
"It's better for us to die than to just continue to boycott Danish food and yogurt. Danish criminals had again insulted the prophet Muhammed, but such criminals can't insult Jews or deny the Holocaust. This is a crusade war."
Q: Don't these threats against Norway and Europe result in much prejudice against Muslims who fell to European countries from dictator regimes in the Middle East?
A: Muslims aren't allowed to have permanent residence in Western countries that have godless laws. They can be there if it's necessary, but they can't live by godless laws. They must also take part in Jihad and protect Muslim countries against those who have attacked them.
Q: Are you open for dialog between the West and al-Qaeda's leaders in order to find a solution and finally peace between Muslims and Western countries?
A: We have offered the Europeans a cease-fire, but they have insensitively rejected it.
Source: Nettavisen (Norwegian)