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Al Qaeda Calls For Revolt Against Arab Rulers

02/26/11 01:24 PM ET   AP

Al Qaida Arab Revolt

CAIRO — Al-Qaida's offshoot in Yemen urged Muslims to revolt against Arab rulers and establish governments based on Islamic law, according to an audio tape posted Saturday on militant websites.

The appeal came at a time of growing political unrest in the Arab world. Popular uprisings have deposed the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt, and anti-government protests are gaining momentum in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain.

The speaker on the audio tape is identified as Ibrahim al-Rubeish, a former detainee at the U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay lockup. The tape was produced by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a Yemen-based offshoot of the terror network, according to the SITE Intel group, a U.S.-based group that monitors extremist websites.

In the 10-minute recording, Al-Rubeish criticized Saudi Arabia for providing a haven for deposed Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

He also said toppling longtime rulers is not enough and that new governments must be established based on Islamic religious law, or Shariah.

"One tyrant goes, only to be replaced another who may fix for the people some of their worldly issues by offering job opportunities and increasing their income, but the greater problem remains," al-Rubeish said, according to a translation provided by SITE.

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Filed by Nick Graham  |