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Honor Muslim ideals, says al-Qaida figure

CAIRO, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Western nations can live in peace so long as they respect the regional aspirations of the Muslim people, the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri said.

Zawahiri took control over al-Qaida after Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in 2011. Mohamed al-Zawahiri, his brother, said in an interview with CNN that he last saw Ayman in Azerbaijan in 1996.

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From Cairo, Mohamed said Western powers were misinterpreting the ideology of al-Qaida.

"If it means those who are bloodthirsty merciless killers then this is not what we are about," he says. "We only try to regain some of our rights that have been hijacked by Western powers throughout history."

He spent more than a decade in an Egyptian prison on charges of plotting to overthrow the government there. He was freed in March.

If Western powers can respect the aspiration of the Muslim people, he said, then they will live in peace.

"We only want to build our Islamic nations the way we like it and want no confrontation with the West as long as they stop occupying our land, killing innocent women and children and above all interfering in our religious beliefs," he said.

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