Al Qaeda No. 2 speaks on Gaza flotilla incident

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In an audio message released Sunday, a speaker identified as al Qaeda’s second-in-command offers condolences to the Turkish people on the loss of nine activists in a May 31 Israeli raid on an aid flotilla headed for Gaza.

The incident badly frayed Israel’s once-close relationship with Turkey. The speaker, who was identified as Ayman al-Zawahiri, said in the message the incident underscores the need for Turkey to stop cooperating with or recognizing Israel.

“Change will come when the Turkish people demand that their government ceases all aspects of cooperation with Israel and stop recognizing Israel and when they ask their government to stop sending their (Turkish) armed forces to fight the Muslims in Afghanistan and end their battle against Islam and the Sharia,” al-Zawahiri said.

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