ABC 33/40 – Birmingham News, Weather, SportsAl-Qaida No. 2 called for "violent …

CAIRO (AP) – Before he was killed in a U.S. drone strike last week, al-Qaida’s second-in-command urged Arabs to take up arms to assist Syrian rebels in their uprising against President Bashar Assad.

The call came in a nearly 15-minute-long video message by Abu Yahya al-Libi. It was released Tuesday, but a jihadist website said it was produced in November. Al-Libi was killed last week in North Waziristan, Pakistan.

According to the SITE monitoring group, al-Libi called on Syrians to abandon any “illusions of peacefulness” and fight Assad and what he called U.S. conspiracies against the revolution.

Al-Qaida has tried to capitalize on the Arab Spring uprisings that swept the region. The Syrian revolt, which activists say has claimed more than 13,000 lives, is a popular topic on jihadist online forums.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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