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17/09/2013 12:10 BST

'Jihad Guidelines' Set Out By Al Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahri

Ayman al-Zawahri releases a 'guide to jihad'
AP
Ayman al-Zawahri releases a 'guide to jihad'

The leader of Al Qaeda has issued a set of guidelines for Jihad, providing a rare look at the terror group's strategy.

Ayman Al-Zawahri urges restraint in attacking the United States, and stresses the importance of missionary work, rather than violence, to spread its ideas, The Guardian reported.

The 'General guidelines for Jihad' document, published by the SITE monitoring service, says: "As far as targeting the proxies of America is concerned, it differs from place to place.

"The basic principle is to avoid entering into any conflict with them, except in the countries where confronting them becomes inevitable."

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Fighting against other Muslim sects should be avoided, Zawahri advises, and followers were also advised to leave Christians, Hindus and Skhs alone if they are living in Muslim countries.

But he accepts that conflict is inevitable in some countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia, Reuters said.

Al Qaeda, which masterminded the 9/11 attacks on New York, has been severely weakened in recent years, with the killing and capture of several of its key figures, including Osama Bin Laden.