DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The leader of al-Qaida is threatening Saudi Arabia over its mass execution of 47 people, many of whom were tied to the terror group.
Ayman al-Zawahiri delivered the message in a recording earlier this week that was reported by the SITE Intelligence Group on Thursday.
The seven-minute speech exhorted militants to launch new attacks against the interests of the kingdom's ruling Al Saud family, which he called a "rotten regime that corrupted your religion." Al-Zawahiri also offered his condolences to the families of the executed fighters.
Saudi Arabia executed the prisoners on Jan. 2. Among them was Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, whose death sparked new tensions between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shiite power Iran after protesters in the Islamic Republic attacked two of the kingdom's diplomatic posts.