A coalition soldier fires into known enemy territory near Abu Kamal, Syria, on Aug. 22, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Christian Simmons)

Senior al-Qaeda Leader Urges Americans, Europeans to Pressure Governments to Withdraw from Middle East – So They Can Focus on Coronavirus at Home

According to the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM), a senior leader of Al-Qaeda in Syria, Abu Abd Al-Karim Al-Gharbi, recently published an open letter to the people of the US and Europe, calling on them to pressure their governments to pull their military forces out of the Middle East. Such a move would help those countries deal with the economic aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, he claimed. It should be mentioned that in 2019 Al-Gharbi was identified by the US as a leader of Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Hurras Al-Din. The open letter is signed “The sheikh of the mujahideen, Abu Abd Al-Karim Al-Gharbi.”

Following are excerpts from the open letter:

“To the people of the United States of America, with the same message addressed to the European peoples. You have an obligation towards yourselves due to the Corona virus.

Your governments, which you voted for, are spending large sums of money on sending armies to fight in the Middle East, leading to a reaction and terrorist attacks in your country such as September 11 and the ramming, stabbing and bomb attacks. In addition to your loss of security, and the death and injuries bringing a physical and mental cost on the youth of your countries, these large sums which are spent on the military campaigns must be agreed upon by you, as you face shut downs and loss of jobs and economic collapse and death due to the Corona virus.

Will wise up and understand the situation and repair your countries by standing up to your politicians and military leaders who are directing your countries’ money to the weapons’ companies and to deals of theft and corruption? Or will you continue to elect the same gangs of candidates and parliamentarians, and hence the terrorism will continue and the economic downfall will increase? And you will face either the spread of Corona or the obstruction of life… it is your country, and the choice is yours. Do your duty and what is in your interest. The retreat of your forces from the Middle East will not cause you any harm. Rather, it will increase security and cut off the circumstances that give birth to terrorism and push the youth to react and join Al-Qaeda. The [retreat] will also provide your governments with a lot of money that will help you face the new world after Corona.”

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Exploring the Middle East and South Asia through their media, MEMRI bridges the language gap between the West and the Middle East and South Asia, providing timely translations of Arabic, Farsi, Urdu-Pashtu, Dari, and Turkish media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends. Founded in February 1998 to inform the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East, MEMRI is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization. MEMRI's main office is located in Washington, DC, with branch offices in various world capitals. MEMRI research is translated into English, French, Polish, Japanese, Spanish and Hebrew.

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