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Support for Syrian Uprising from Al-Qa’ida; French Held for Ransom

The Syrian uprising seeking to oust Bashar Al-Asad from power has received encouragement from Osama Bin Laden’s successor at Al-Qa’ida. On Wednesday, Ayman Al-Zawahri posted a message on websites in which he praised the Syrian unrest, suggesting that it was part of a broader Islamic movement to separate from Western influences – a belief unsupported by reports from Syria since unrest began. But he warned to be aware that the U.S. wants to replace Al-Asad with a leader who will cooperate with Washington and Israel. On Thursday, a Syrian NGO announced that since the unrest began four months ago, at least 2,918 Syrians who are known to have been arrested by government forces have since gone missing. The organization Avaaz places the death toll at 1,634 and says that of 26,000 who were detained, 12,617 remain in detention. In Yemen, Al-Qa’ida-linked terrorists have demanded $12 million for the return of two French aid workers kidnapped months ago.