Qaida Chief Urges Saudis to Rise Up against Rulersإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri urged Saudis to follow Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans in rising up against their rulers, U.S.-based monitors said Thursday.
"Why don't you rise while you are the sons of the proud and strong tribes that look down upon death in order to lift the humiliation and the oppression?" Zawahiri asked in a video translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
"Why don't you follow the example for your brothers in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and the Levant?"
He was referring to the Arab Spring wave of popular uprisings that has roiled North Africa and the Middle East since December 2010.
The six-minute, 19-second video was produced in February or March and appeared Thursday on extremist websites, according to SITE.
It opens with footage showing Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah meeting Pope Benedict XVI, former U.S. president George W. Bush and current U.S. President Barack Obama.
"It has been nearly a year now since the Arab peoples rose against their rulers. They rose in the west and north, and you don't move," the Egyptian-born Zawahiri said in the video.
"My noble brothers, why are you patient with the rule of the family of Saud, while it is one of the worse regimes in terms of corruption?" he asked.
Zawahiri reproached the Saudi rulers for having opened the country to U.S. troops, imprisoned violent extremists and spread immorality through the media. Most U.S. troops withdrew from Saudi Arabia, home to some of Islam's holiest sites, in 2003.
In previous videos aired in recent days, Zawahiri urged Somalia's Shebab fighters to wage a war of attrition against Kenyan and African Union troops in Somalia.
He also called on Yemenis to fight their new president Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, calling him an agent of the United States.