A top Al Qaeda leader has urged extremists to steal from non-Muslims to fund their activities.

A five-page article in online terror magazine Inspire, written by Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-origin Yemeni radical cleric regarded by many as one of Al Qaeda’s most dangerous leaders, gives Islamic justification to rob non-believers to fund jihad or holy war, the Washington Times said.

“Rather than the Muslims financing their jihad from their own pockets, they should finance it from the pockets of their enemies,” Awlaki says in the article, a lengthy recitation of the Islamic jurisprudential debate over “ganimah” or war booty.

“Our jihad cannot depend wholly on donations made by Muslims,” he writes, noting “jihad around the world is in dire need of financial support”.

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