London, Feb. 9 (ANI): Senior commanders of the Yemeni wing of Al-Qaeda have urged Muslims in the region to wage a jihad against Christians and Jews.
In an audio message posted on the Internet, the deputy chief of the Yemeni Al Qaeda, Said al-Shihri, called on Muslims "to attack the interests of America and the Crusaders."
"We advise you, our people in the peninsula, to prepare and carry your weapons and to defend your religion and yourselves and to join your mujahideen brothers," The Telegraph quoted al-Shihri, a former Gitmo detainee, as saying.
Earlier, the Yemeni authorities had claimed that al-Shihri was killed in a December 24 air strike by Yemeni forces.
However, that claim was denied later denied by al-Qaeda.
Yemen is in midst of a major crackdown on Al Qaeda, which grabbed the world's attention when it claimed a failed bomb attack on US-bound plane in December.
Al-Shihri congratulated Nigerian radical Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for his "blessed" attempt to blow up the Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas.
Saudi Arabia has long feared that al-Qaeda will take advantage of the Yemen's lawless regions to build a solid base of operations there from where it could threaten the whole peninsula.
The offshoot al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was formed a year ago, when Yemen and Saudi militant groups merged. (ANI)