Ayman al-Zawahri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, has issued guidelines for jihad that urge restraint and call for a greater promotion of the ideologies of Salafist Islam. He stressed the importance of ‘dawa’, or missionary work to spread ideas.
It seems that this defined direction for Al-Qaeda is particularly relevant in North Africa where the less restrictive environment following the Arab Spring is allowing Al-Qaeda to recruit new followers, often through local alliances. By following this modus operandi it is able to avoid drawing attention to itself by refraining from military attacks.
Underlying this thinking is the desire to ensure that there are safe bases from which to launch a more aggressive jihad. In Pakistan, Al-Qaeda is working to create a safe haven for mujahudeen which can then be used as a launching pad for the struggle of establishing an Islamic system.
Conflict is seen as inevitable in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Algeria is seen as a key point of entry into the North and West Africa, and so finding ways to weaken Algeria is deemed essential.
With the publication of this manifesto, we are given fuel to pray, not just to pray but to engage in the spiritual battle by proclaiming the Lordship of Christ, understanding God’s view of strongholds in these lands and praying for their destruction, and standing in the gap for those nations that are particularly vulnerable at this time.
Read the news article at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/16/us-security-qaeda-idUSBRE98F0I920130916