Al Qaeda chief urged militants in an audio interview calling to take Western hostages and exchange them for jailed jihadists, SITE Intelligence Group said on Sunday.
In recording posted online, Al-Zawahiri called on the global militant network to kidnap Westerners "until they liberate the last Muslim male prisoner and last Muslim female prisoner in the prisons of the Crusaders, apostates, and enemies of Islam," according to SITE.
The authenticity of the recording could not be verified. Zawahiri is believed to be seeking refuge in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area that is the Taliban's base.
It is not the first time when Al-Zawahiri, who was involved in plotting multiple terror attacks around the world, is calling for kidnapping people. In 2012, he called on jihadists to take Westerns tourists in Muslim countries as hostages.
As the recent recording is yet to be proved genuine, it was not the first memo coming from al-Qaeda recently.
It is the second al-Qaeda thread during the last week. On Wednesday, The Foreign Desk reported of intercepted directives for conducting attacks during 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, issued by affiliated group. The instructions mentioned a call for alone jihadist’s attacks on British, American, French and Israeli athletes, as well as spectators and high-profile guests such as heads of Western states.
"One small knife attack against Americans/Israelis in these places will have bigger media effect than any other attacks anywhere else," one of the messages cited by The Foreign Desk reads.