An al-Qaida group in Africa Saturday urged Muslims to "free their imprisoned brethren through all means" under Shariah law during Ramadan and "incited fighters to escalate their attacks," according to a group that monitors jihadist activity online.
The group, al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), issued the call in a message to Muslims for the holy month of Ramadan, which began Friday at sundown.
The message was confirmed by the SITE Intelligence Group. Ramadan ends on June 24.
AQIM began during the Algerian civil war of the 1990s and seeks to replace the Algerian government with an Islamic state.
The group has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S, as well as the United Nations, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Russia.
AQIM has raised more than $50 million in the last decade through kidnapping for ransom, according to news reports.
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