Al-Qaeda threatens attacks on US diplomats
CAIRO (AP) - Al-Qaeda's branch in North Africa on Tuesday called for attacks on United States (US) diplomats and an escalation of protests against an anti-Islam video that was produced in the US and triggered a wave of demonstrations in Muslim countries.
While demonstrations have tapered off in nations including Egypt and Tunisia, a protest against the film turned violent in Indian-controlled Kashmir and small rallies were held in Indonesia.
In Kabul, the Afghan capital, a suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a mini-bus carrying South African aviation workers to the airport, killing at least 12 people in an attack that a militant group said was revenge for the film Innocence Of Muslims, which was made by an Egyptian-born American citizen. US officials describe the video as offensive, but the American government's protection of free speech rights has clashed with the anger of Muslims abroad who are furious over the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womaniser and paedophile.
In a statement, Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb praised the killing of Christopher Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on Sept 11. The group threatened attacks in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania, and condemned the United States for "lying to Muslims for more than 10 years, saying its war was against terrorism and not Islam." The group urged Muslims to pull down and burn American flags at embassies, and kill or expel American diplomats to "purge our land of their filth in revenge for the honour of The Prophet."