DAMSCUS: Al-Qaeda’s leader called on fighters to determine who killed the organisation’s chief representative Abu Khaled al-Suri in Syria.
In a thinly veiled criticism of the breakaway Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant organization, Ayman al-Zawahri called the killing of Abu Khaled an act of “sedition” that should be handled in accordance with Islamic law.
“All Muslims should not help anybody who blows up the headquarters of the holy fighters, or who sends them car bombs and human bombs,” al-Zawahri said in a recorded message posted on militant websites late Friday, referring to the Islamic State’s tactic of attacking rival rebels with bombings.
“Whoever commits such sins should remember that he is fulfilling for the enemies of Islam what they were unable to achieve on their own.”
Al-Suri was killed on Feb. 23, when two suicide bombers blew themselves up inside the militant leader’s compound in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
While he did not mention the Islamic State by name, it was clear he was accusing the group and staking out a hard stance against it. He also endorsed a previous call for Islamic arbitration over the death of al-Suri to be overseen by the Nusra Front — the official al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.