Al Qaeda leaders call for new attacks
Messages from Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri step up the network's rhetoric on Gaza and the European media.
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Zawahiri's message also referred to the republication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, in what some see as rising concerns in Europe over the portrayal of Islam in some sections of the media.Skip to next paragraph
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The website of Geert Wilders, a far-right wing Dutch lawmaker, who had been expected to release a controversial film on Sunday, was suspended, the International Herald Tribune reports. The website had shown the unreleased film's title, "Fitna," and an image of Islam's holy book, the Koran, which the film is said to criticize. The website now shows a note indicating that the US company, Network Solutions, is investigating whether the website's contents violate its terms of service.
The recent messages from Al Qaeda leaders also coincide with the conclusion of an Israeli offensive in Gaza earlier in March. Israel said it was seeking to curb Palestinian militants firing rockets against nearby Israeli towns. Some 120 were killed, including civilians. The fighting has complicated and stalled a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
In a visit on Saturday, Vice President Dick Cheney said US support for security in Israel was "unshakeable," Bloomberg reports. Mr. Cheney also warned Palestinians against resorting to terrorism and rocket attacks to add pressure for an independent state.
Cheney visited the city of Jerusalem and the West Bank as part of a drive to push the two sides toward a vision for a Palestinian state. The push emerged as a top priority for President Bush in his final year of office.
On Sunday, Mr. Abbas told Cheney the US needed to give more support to peace talks. Those talk are being mediated by Egypt and are aimed at securing a truce between Israel and Hamas, The Washington Post reported.
The comments were a recognition that violence in Hamas-dominated Gaza was blocking progress toward the broader goal of the new talks.