The leader of al-Qaeda has urged his followers to strike inside the US to “bleed America economically”, adding that the United States can be defeated by targeting its economy, according to a message posted on a website frequently used by the group.
In an audio speech released online two days after the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 strikes, Ayman al-Zawahiri said that America is not a “mythic power” and that the mujahedeen – Islamic holy warriors – can defeat it with attacks “on its own soil”.
“We should bleed America economically by provoking it to continue in its massive expenditure on its security, for the weak point of America is its economy, which has already begun to stagger due to the military and security expenditure,” al-Zawahiri, the successor to Osama bin Laden, said.
The message’s authenticity could not be independently confirmed.
Keeping America in such a state of tension and anticipation only required a few disparate attacks “here and there”, he said.
“As we defeated it in the gang warfare in Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan, so we should follow it with …war on its own land. These disparate strikes can be done by one brother or a few of the brothers.”
At the same time, Muslims should seize any opportunity to stage small attacks or a “big strike” against the United States, even if this took years of patience, he said.