The Yemen-based arm of al Qaeda urged Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula to wage jihad against Christians and Jews in the region. "The Christians, the Jews, and the treacherous apostate rulers have pounced on you...you have no other way out from this plight other than to wage jihad," the wing's deputy leader, Saeed al-Shehri, said in an audio tape posted the internet.
Shehri was one of 30 al Qaeda members that Yemen claimed to have killed in an air strike in December. "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," he said.
According to him, the Yemen-based wing's failed bomb attack on a U.S. bound plane on Christmas Day had been carried out in coordination with Osama bin Laden.
Shehri said a conference convened in London last month where high-level officials discussed how to stabilize Yemen showed there was an ideological war being waged against Muslims in Yemen by the West. According to Reuters, he added American forces had killed Yemeni women and children with what he termed "espionage planes." Shehri also addressed his call for jihad to a number of Yemeni tribes.