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Top Al Qaeda group calls for Muslim-led 'crusader wars' targeting US diplomats worldwide

Radical group issues bold statement calling on Muslims to "kick out the embassies of America from Muslim lands."

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A militant suspected of being a member of Al-Qaeda sits at a checkpoint in Azan in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Al Qaeda in Yemen, a group the US considers one of the most threatening, issued a statement today calling on Muslims to "follow the example of Omar al-Mukhtar's descendants [Libyans], who killed the American ambassador," reported Reuters.

A Tuesday attack on the US consulate in Libya's Benghazi, which came alongside protests over a US-made anti-Islam film, killed the US ambassador along with three others.

The incident sparked a wave of anti-American sentiment in Muslim communities worldwide (follow GlobalPost's live coverage of the unrest here).

More from GlobalPost: Anti-Islam film, Prince Harry motivated deadly Taliban attack in Afghanistan: 2 US Marines killed

The US on Friday deployed an emergency Marine force to Yemen after protesters scaled embassy walls in a violent rally held Thursday over the film.

US leaders have repeatedly distanced the American government from the California-made footage but are struggling to respond to an increasingly threatening wave of anti-American sentiment. 

Extremist activity in Yemen, meanwhile, has been on the rise. The government recently launched military offenses in a bid to retakes its militant-held south, which was overrun with radical groups in the wake up uprisings against the country's former leader last year.

The security vacuum strengthened the hand of extremists, who have increased their activities in the region. "Let the step of kicking out the embassies be a step towards liberating Muslim countries from the American hegemony," Reuters cited the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula group as saying in an online statement that urged Muslims worldwide to join "crusader wars."

"The incident is so huge that the resources of the nation should be pooled together to kick out the embassies of America from Muslim lands," the statement added, according to Reuters.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula formed in 2009 when two powerful militant groups, one in Yemen and one in Saudi Arabia, joined forces, according to BBC News.

The group's number two was believed killed in an attack several weeks ago but his death has not been confirmed. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120915/top-al-qaeda-group-calls-muslim-led-crusader-wars-targeting