Al Qaeda chief says US plotted Morsi's overthrow
The United States has been accused by al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri of plotting with Egypt’s military, secularists and Christians to overthrow Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
In his first public comment on the July 3 military overthrow of the Islamist leader, Zawahiri said that Egypt’s army is “Americanized,” in an audio recording posted on militant Islamist forums, reported by AFP news agency.
“Crusaders and secularists and the Americanized army have converged ... with Gulf money and American plotting to topple Mohamed Morsi’s government,” said Zawahiri, himself an Egyptian, during the 15-minute recording.
Morsi’s “Muslim Brotherhood government strove to please America and the secularists as much as it could, but they were not satisfied with it,” said Zawahiri.
“They did not trust it (Morsi’s government) because they did not forget the Brotherhood’s slogan: ‘Jihad is our war, and death in the path of God is our highest aspiration’,” he said.
“The Brotherhood abandoned that slogan, substituting it with the slogan ‘Islam is the solution,’ but the Crusaders and secularists did not forget,” he said.
“What happened is the biggest proof of the failure of democratic means to achieve an Islamic government,” he said of the coup.
“I call for them to be united ... to make Islamic law rule.”
Zawahiri, who belonged to the militant Egyptian Islamic Jihad group, is believed to be hiding somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
In the recording, he also accused Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority of supporting the Islamist president’s ouster to attain “a Coptic state stripped from Egypt’s south,” according to AFP.
He also voiced anger at Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, who was an opposition leader during Morsi’s year in office.
ElBaradei is the “envoy of American providence,” Zawahiri said, labeling the former International Atomic Energy Agency chief as “the destroyer of Iraq.”