Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 3 Issue: 23


Al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri appeared in a new videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera June 9. The al-Qaeda leader called on “Muslims to reject any referendum on Palestine because Palestine is part of the Islamic world and not subject to any compromise.” He told Muslims to support “their brothers in Palestine…so that jihad continues,” explaining that Palestine’s “liberation is the duty of every Muslim” (al-Jazeera, June 9). Al-Zawahiri returned to criticizing Arab leaders, chastising them for not providing funds to the Palestinians after international donors ceased their aid to the Palestinian Authority due to Hamas’ electoral victory in January: “Arab leaders…did not dare to fulfill [even] one month’s [financial] needs of the Palestinians because orders were already issued by the Caesar of Washington” (Gulf Times, June 10). Al-Zawahiri’s statements on Palestine come after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that there will be a July 26 popular vote on Palestinian statehood that implicitly recognizes the state of Israel. Al-Zawahiri also discussed developments in Sudan, arguing that the West was preparing to “occupy and divide it.” Al-Zawahiri said, “The spineless Sudanese government…is joining the United States in dividing Sudan to stay in power” (al-Jazeera, June 9). He then called “upon every Muslim and everyone who has faith in Sudan, and every fervent Muslim in Darfur to confront the Zionist Crusader plot to occupy the lands of Islam.” On another note, due to al-Zawahiri’s statements on the video praising Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the tape appears to have been made before the terrorist leader’s June 7 death in Iraq.


On June 9, a large explosion crippled two Pakistani gas pipelines, stopping gas supplies to most of Balochistan. The explosion occurred in Mastung District, and the two pipelines were responsible for supplying gas from Sui to Quetta—the damage affected supplies to Quetta, Mastung, Kalat, Pashin and Ziarat districts. In the same area, authorities discovered 14 more bombs that were to be used to destroy a 123-kilowatt power line. According to authorities, at least one explosion did occur, damaging two electrical pillars. The 14 remaining bombs were found at the base of each pillar of the electrical transmission line; all 14 bombs were safely defused. No group has claimed responsibility (Daily Times, June 11). On June 12, a bomb exploded on a road in Quetta, killing five people and destroying approximately three stores. According to authorities, the bomb was attached to a bicycle that was sitting near the roadside (Reuters, June 12). While there have been no claims of responsibility, authorities have accused the Baloch Liberation Army for the bomb blast. These latest incidents are part of an escalation of attacks against Pakistani authorities by Baloch insurgents (Terrorism Focus, May 23).