Al-Qaeda Sees Iran-Israel War on Horizon, Plans to Jump In
AQAP strategist orders jihadis to prepare for conflict
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2010 12:50 PM CDT
This image provided by the SITE Intelligence Group shows Said Ali al-Shihri.    (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group)

(Newser) – Al-Qaeda believes a war between Israel and Iran is imminent and it sees it as a golden opportunity. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's second-in-command, Said Ali al-Shihri, has issued a message urging followers to be ready to exploit the conflict, which he predicts will swell the ranks of Islamic militant groups worldwide, the Daily Beast reports.

Shihri—a former Guantanamo inmate—sees it playing out like this: Israel will attack Iran's nuclear sites; Iran will then accuse Saudi Arabia of aiding Israel and use that as an excuse to seize Mecca and Media—while also attacking any American presence in the Gulf, drawing the US into the conflict, along with Lebanon and Syria. He has instructed followers to be ready to spread terror and mayhem as soon as the conflicts begin. Jihad sympathizers with access to Arab leaders should be ready to carry out assassinations, Shihri says, and pilots should prepare for suicide strikes on Israel.