DUBAI (Reuters) – The leader of the al Qaeda offshoot that has taken control of parts of Iraq and Syria has urged Muslims around the world to fight to avenge wrongs committed against their religion.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the group that now calls itself the Islamic State, issued the call to jihad – holy war – in an audio message lasting nearly 20 minutes that was posted online on Tuesday.
DUBAI, June 10 (Reuters) – A proposal to set up a Saudi
Arabian sovereign wealth fund attracted debate at a meeting of
the kingdom’s influential Shura council advisory body but failed
to yield a result, state media reported on Tuesday.
A report by the council’s financial committee has said the
National Reserve Fund, which would invest part of the kingdom’s
vast hydrocarbon wealth, would build on its financial stability.
RIYADH/DUBAI, June 8 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Shura
Council, an influential advisory body to the government, will
discuss a proposal for the country to establish a sovereign
wealth fund that would invest some of its vast oil earnings,
local media reported.
The National Reserve Fund would “guarantee the financial
stability of the kingdom” by investing its reserves, Saad Mareq,
head of the council’s financial committee, was quoted as telling
the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat daily on Saturday.
DUBAI (Reuters) – As new Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi prepares for his inauguration on Sunday, his most powerful Arab ally is deploying both threats and promises to ensure the Arab Spring cannot upset a new anti-Islamist front in the Middle East.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urged Egyptians this week to embrace Sisi, the military man who drove Islamists from power in Cairo a year ago, and said they should to disown the “strange chaos” of the Arab uprisings.
DUBAI, June 3 (Reuters) – A video of French hostage Serge
Lazarevic, appealing to France’s President Francois Hollande to
negotiate his release after two years in captivity in the
Sahara, was aired by Dubai-based Akhbar Al Aan TV on Tuesday.
In the video, Lazarevic wore a black turban and had a long
grey beard. He said he had been kidnapped by al Qaeda’s North
African wing, AQIM, and appeared in front of two gunmen, whose
faces were concealed by turbans.
SANAA (Reuters) – Other Yemeni officials may have looted public funds, but former president Ali Abdullah Saleh says he was not one of them and he has challenged his authorities to find one dollar acquired inappropriately and hold him to account.
His critics in Yemen, an impoverished country of 25 million where 40 percent of the population live on less than $2 per day, accuse him of embezzling billions of dollars during his 33 years in power.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Attacks on top Yemeni government targets blamed on al Qaeda suggest a vigorous army counter-terrorism campaign has failed to dent the militants’ ability to humiliate the authorities with acts of brazen violence.
After months of militant raids on security forces, foreigners and government officials, Yemen’s army launched a concerted air-and-ground campaign late last month against militant bastions in Abyan and Shabwa provinces.
SANAA/DUBAI (Reuters) – An intense two days of air strikes on al Qaeda in Yemen may have killed or wounded some of its commanders, but drones alone are unlikely to eradicate the threat the group poses to Yemenis and the West.
A weak central government, a rivalry-ridden and poorly equipped security force, endemic poverty and corruption have made Yemen the ideal haven of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), whom U.S. President Barack Obama has described as the group “most active in plotting against our homeland”.
DUBAI (Reuters) – The leader of Al Qaeda’s wing in Yemen has vowed to attack the United States, in a video apparently showing a gathering of the group celebrating a mass jailbreak of fighters.
In February, attackers mounted a bomb, grenade and gun assault on the main prison in Sanaa in which 29 inmates, including 19 jailed for terrorism-related crimes, escaped.
DUBAI/KUWAIT (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s fierce campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood, already on the run in its Egyptian birthplace, has divided a Gulf Arab bloc, causing discomfort in some member states where the Islamist group is embedded in daily politics.
Feuding with Qatar over Islam’s place in a turbulent Arab world, Riyadh recalled its ambassador from Doha last week and branded the Brotherhood, a Qatari ally, a terrorist group.