Al-Qaeda eyes children for jihad
SANAA - The wife of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has congratulated Muslim women for the role they have played in the Arab Spring and urged them to raise their children for jihad.
"I congratulate all Muslim women for these blessed revolutions," Umaima Hassan Ahmed Mohammed Hassan wrote in a letter posted on the Al-Fajr website on Friday.
"I advise you to raise your children in the cult of jihad and martyrdom and to instil in them a love for religion and death," she wrote.
In doing so, "each woman would raise her child to be a new Saladin by telling him 'it is you who will restore the grandeur of the Islamic nation and you will liberate Jerusalem.'"
Saladin was a 12th century Kurdish general who became the first sultan of Egypt and whose forces defeated Crusader armies in a battle that led to the eventual fall of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem.
The text also counseled women to continue to wear the veil and to encourage their husbands and sons to "free the prisoners wherever they are... such as the widows of our martyr Osama bin Laden, who are languishing with their children in a Pakistani prison."
The last passage indicates that the message was written before Bin Laden's widows and children were expelled from Pakistan at the end of April.