CAIRO, Egypt

Al-Qaida audio message derides Muslim Brotherhood

A leader of al-Qaida’s Iraqi branch called Saturday on Egyptians to fight their army and derided the Muslim Brotherhood as “evil” for seeking power through democracy.

The audio message by Abu Mohammed al-Adnani highlights the militant movement’s attempt to use Egypt’s July 3 coup, which toppled the country’s first freely elected president, to bolster a hardline ideology favoring armed struggle over peaceful politics.

In the 32-minute audio, al-Adnani derided the Brotherhood, from which ousted President Mohammed Morsi hails, as “a secular party with an Islamic cloak, worshipping power and parliaments, and their jihad is for democracy and not for God’s sake.”

It is “more evil and malevolent than the secularists, and if seizing power necessitates bowing to the Devil, they will bow without hesitation,” he said.

Al-Adnani is official spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is battling Baghdad’s Shiite-led government. The audio could not be independently verified but appeared on a website commonly used by militants.


Crews search for firefighter in Santa Fe National Forest

Crews were back on the ground Monday searching for a Forest Service firefighter who vanished in the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico on Friday while sizing up a wildfire’s perimeter on an ATV.

Forest Service spokeswoman Karen Takai said 100 searchers were scouring mesas and canyons amid heavy timber, brush and grass for 41-year-old Token Adams in the area of Jemez Springs.

He failed to return to a pre-arranged meeting point Friday afternoon with two other firefighters who were also riding ATVs around the 25-acre wildfire southeast of Fenton Lake. Forest Service spokesman John Helmich said the lightning-started wildfire was fully contained late Friday.

Fellow firefighters said they never heard a call for help from Adams, who lives in the area, and so far neither he nor his ATV has been spotted.

–From news service reports