A Yemeni Sheikh affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood has urged his supporters to attack United States Marines stationed in the country.
Yemeni Sheikh ‘Abd Al-Majid Al-Zindani dubbed American Marines “invaders” and stated that Islam permits the murder of “invading and occupying” forces, according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Center’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor.
The Pentagon earlier this month directed a platoon of about 50 Marines to the Middle Eastern country as violence across the region escalates against U.S. interests, according to reports.
The Marines are tasked with defending the U.S. embassy in Sana’a following violent attacks against U.S. interests in Libya and Egypt that claimed the lives of four American diplomats.
Several violent Yemeni rioters were killed earlier this month as they attempted to storm the U.S. consulate there.
Al-Zindani, who was placed in 2004 on a U.S. list of wanted terrorists, justified the killing of U.S. Marines through Islam, according to MEMRI.
The leader “claimed that Islam forbids attacking anyone who enters Yemen with a valid visa, including military and civilian experts hired by the Yemeni government, since the visa grants them protection,” MEMRI noted, according to a copy of the report obtained by the Free Beacon.
These restrictions, however, do not apply to foreign troops, according to MEMRI’s report on Al-Zindani.
“Marines in Yemen constitute an invading and occupying force,” Zidnani stated, according to the report. “Therefore, though he condemned the attack on the U.S. embassy in Sana’a, he claimed that the Marines should be attacked.”
Yemen remains in a state of turmoil, as loyalist fighters associated with the country’s former leader continue to wage attacks against supporters of the new government.
Extremism also is on the rise in the country, according to reports.
Al Qaeda still openly operates in the country, even as the new government has sought to solidify ties with the U.S. government.
It is unclear if President Obama considers the call to murder American Marines another “bump in the road” in the path to Middle East peace.