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BEIRUT, Lebanon – Al-Qaida not only is continuing its efforts to extend its influence over Syria and Lebanon, now it has renewed threats against Israel. Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the brother of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, has threatened to target Israel, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Recently released from an Egyptian prison, the younger brother to the al-Qaida leader said that al-Qaida will hit Israel “if it gets the chance,” he told leading Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm in a recent interview.

The increasing influx of al-Qaida and Salafists in assisting the Syrian opposition makes the other countries in the region potential staging areas if the group is successful in occupying them. Under these circumstances, Israel then could be increasingly vulnerable to al-Qaida attacks.

Mohamed al-Zawahiri appears to have embraced the tenets of al-Qaida, even though he split with his older brother, Ayman, years ago when he went to join Osama bin Laden. Ayman, who headed the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, joined forces with bin Laden to form “The Base,” or al-Qaida, in 1998.

Now, however, Mohamed al-Zawahiri doesn’t appear to have any problems embracing al-Qaida’s goals.

In a recent interview with CNN following his release from an Egyptian prison, he made it clear that al-Qaida will continue its attacks.

“If the West wants to live in peace then they must give the Muslims their rights back. Occupation of our lands is one thing, but interference in our religious beliefs is the worst kind of breach of human rights. We only want to build our Islamic nations the way we like it and want no confrontation with the West as long as they stop occupying our land, killing innocent women and children and above all interfering in our religious beliefs,” Mohamed al-Zawahiri said.

“We call for fasting, prayers, spreading Allah’s word and jihad if we are attacked or restricted from practicing our religion. In this case, we invite the oppressor first into the Islamic community to learn our religion. If they refuse, and we are stopped from spreading our religion, then Allah has ordered us to confront them, and this is jihad,” al-Zawahiri said.

As WND/G2Bulletin recently reported, Ayman al-Zawahiri not only has threatened public officials in Lebanon but has announced the creation of al-Qaida cells for both Syria and Lebanon, announcing that Majid al-Majid will head those cells.

Should the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be removed by force, analysts have expressed concern that al-Qaida and other Salafist elements – both of which are Sunni Muslims – will take advantage of being involved with a fragmented Syrian opposition and rush to fill the power vacuum that would arise from the lack of any coherent opposition leadership.

Some sources have told WND/G2Bulletin that if that case were to arise, Syria especially could become a base from which al-Qaida would be able to operate in the Middle East, posing a threat to the State of Israel.

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