Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is calling for "sporadic" strikes inside the United States with the hopes of collapsing what he says is an already weakened economy due to war and security measures necessary to fight terrorism.
Al-Zawahiri -- who became Al Qaeda's top leader after the U.S. Navy's SEAL Team 6 took out Osama bin Laden in 2011 -- released a one-hour audio tape a day after the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, in which Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center, Pentagon and airlines, killing nearly 3,000.
In the audio, put out on jihadi forums by Al Qaeda's media arm Al-Sahab, al-Zawahiri calls on Muslims to adopt an approach of "sporadic blows" inside the U.S. in order to increase the burden on the American economy. The translation was made available to TheBlaze through the Middle East Media Research Institute, a nonprofit group that provides translations and research from the Middle East.
"Such an approach will keep the U.S. in a constant state of heightened security," al-Zawahiri said. "Still, Muslims should await every chance to deliver a major attack against the U.S., even if they had to wait years for such an attack."
Al-Zawahiri also called on Muslims to boycott U.S. and its allies' products in order to further hurt their economies, and said the U.S. should know by now that it does not face individuals or groups, "but an entire ummah that rose to defend its honor and pride."
A U.S. official who spoke to TheBlaze on condition of anonymity said that "any threat from Al Qaeda is taken seriously."
"People need to remain vigilant," the official said."The concern is more about lone wolf actors, people who would act on their on accord without direction from Al Qaeda."
As for Egypt, al-Zawahiri said the "only solution to Egypt's problems is the complete implementation of Shariah."
He said the ousting of Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi "and the subsequent deadly confrontations between Morsi's supporters and the Egyptian army...are only a continuation of the same grim policy of the Egyptian military and the secularists in the country that was adopted throughout the past several decades."
Al-Zawahiri also said that the deadly attacks against Morsi's supporters were "not directed against the Muslim Brotherhood per se, but against all Islamic tendencies in the country."
Regarding Syria, Al-Zawahiri warned the mujahideen in Syria that "the U.S. will attempt to bring them closer to secularist elements in the country" and he urged them not to fall for it.
“We should bleed America economically by provoking it to continue in its massive expenditure on its security, for the weak point of America is its economy, which has already begun to stagger due to the military and security expenditure,” Zawahiri said according to the SITE translation.
“And keeping America in tension and anticipation only costs a few disparate attacks here and there, meaning as we defeated it in the gang warfare in Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan, so we should follow it with that war on its own land,” he said.