Al-Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri described the United Nations as an enemy to Muslims and vowed attacks on Jews both inside and outside Israel in a statement posted on the Internet on Wednesday.
"The United Nations is an enemy of Islam and Muslims," he said. "We promise our Muslim brothers that we will do our utmost to strike Jews in Israel and abroad with help and guidance from god."
Al-Zawahri defended the organization, saying it does not kill innocents, in hour and a half long audio response to questions submitted to the movement on extremist Web sites.
The audio message, which was accompanied by a 46 page English transcript, was the first installment to the more than 900 questions submitted by supporters, critics and journalists in December.
Al-Zawarhi's responses to the Internet queries will be released soon, probably within the next three days, a terrorism monitoring service said on Wednesday.
''We haven't killed the innocents, not in Baghdad nor in Morocco, nor in Algeria, nor anywhere else,'' he said according to the English transcript which, like the audio message, appeared on Web sites linked to the group.
''If there is any innocent who was killed in the Mujahideen's operations, then it was either an unintentional error or out of necessity,'' he said in response to several questions about the group's policy towards taking innocent lives.
'Enemy uses Muslims as human shields'
Zawahri went on to say that it was their opponents who killed innocents and also noted that ''the enemy intentionally takes up positions in the midst of the Muslims for them to be human shields for him.''
Al-Qaeda's as-Sahab media arm announced on Wednesday the impending release of the first round of Zawahri's answers, the US-based terrorism monitoring service IntelCenter said. It said it expected a video
release within 72 hours.
More than 2,000 questions were submitted in response to the offer, according to the SITE Institute monitoring group.
Analysts have said the semi-interactive forum allows Zawahri to appear accessible to followers even though he and other top al-Qaeda leaders are believed to be holed up in remote Pakistan.
Reuters and AP contributed to this report