Al Qaeda on the same page as infidels in Mauritania

GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images Because we were all waiting to see how the international terror organization would react: Al Qaeda has now joined a chorus of condemnation from the international community by calling for a jihad in Mauritania in the wake of last week’s military coup: “Raise the banner of jihad and let us bleed and ...

593335_080812_coup5.jpg
593335_080812_coup5.jpg

GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images

Because we were all waiting to see how the international terror organization would react: Al Qaeda has now joined a chorus of condemnation from the international community by calling for a jihad in Mauritania in the wake of last week's military coup:

"Raise the banner of jihad and let us bleed and have our limbs severed until we bring back a caliphate styled along the lines of The Prophet's way," the leader of the al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, Abu Mus'ab Abd el-Wadoud, said in a statement posted on the Internet on Tuesday.

GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images

Because we were all waiting to see how the international terror organization would react: Al Qaeda has now joined a chorus of condemnation from the international community by calling for a jihad in Mauritania in the wake of last week’s military coup:

“Raise the banner of jihad and let us bleed and have our limbs severed until we bring back a caliphate styled along the lines of The Prophet’s way,” the leader of the al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, Abu Mus’ab Abd el-Wadoud, said in a statement posted on the Internet on Tuesday.

Abd el-Wadoud said the soldiers who toppled President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi in the northwest African state last week were probably acting upon a green light from “infidel states; America, France and Israel”.

Abd el-Wadoud must have missed the memo that the “infidel states” aren’t happy with the coup either: Both France and the United States have suspended non-humanitarian aid. Israel, too, had ties with the previous government in Mauritania, one of the few Arab nations with whom it had diplomatic relations.

While coup leaders tried to assuage critics by releasing the prime minister and three other high-ranking leaders Monday and promising new elections “as soon as possible,” overthrowing a democratically-elected leader in the name of democracy isn’t going to jive with international opinion.

Still, the fact that Al Qaeda isn’t happy about the new leadership, and the promise by new military ruler Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to clamp down harder on Islamic militants may give some Western leaders pause. It’s not like we’ve supported convenient coup leaders with so-so democratic credentials before.

Patrick Fitzgerald is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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