Al-Qaeda leader calls the Islamic State ‘liars’

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Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri (L), ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (R). File photo

ARA News

Damascus – Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, has denounced what he called “a dishonest propaganda campaign” by the Islamic State (ISIS) against his organization.

In an audio message released on Thursday, al-Zawahiri accused the Islamic State’s supreme leader of slandering his group. Al-Baghdadi had alleged that al-Qaeda opposes sectarian attacks on Shiites and was prepared to work with Christian leaders.

“The liars insist upon their falsehood, to the extent that they claimed we do not denounce Shiites,” al-Zawahiri exclaimed in the message.

Al-Qaeda’s senior Emir explained that he had not called for Shiite Muslims to be spared, but had suggested that Sunni jihadists target the Shiite-led Iraqi forces and not commit random atrocities against civilians.

“I had told them several times to stop the explosions in markets, Husseiniyats [Shiite places of worship] and mosques, and to concentrate on military, security and police forces and Shiite militiamen,” al-Zawahiri clarified.

The Iraqi security forces are fighting alongside Shiite militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

The 65-year-old Egyptian extremist further denied that he had ever said that Christians could participate in the governance of a future Islamic Caliphate. 

“What I have said is that they are partners in the land, such as agriculture, trade and money,” al-Zawahiri confirmed. “We keep their privacy in it, in accordance with the laws of our Sharia.”

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi | Source: ARA News & Agencies 

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