Thu, May 12, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Yemen’s al-Qaeda leader warns of greater battles

AFP, DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

A girl watches anti-government protesters rally to demand the ouster of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana’a on Tuesday.

Photo: Reuters

The leader of al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch warned that jihad will become more “intense and harmful” after the killing of Osama bin Laden by US commandos, the SITE monitoring group reported yesterday.

Nasir al-Wahishi, leader al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said in a statement posted on an Islamist Web site that the “ember of jihad is brighter” following the May 2 death of bin Laden, the US-based group said.

“Do not think of the battle superficially ... What is coming is greater and worse, and what is awaiting you is more intense and harmful,” Wahishi said, according to a translation given by SITE.

He warned Americans not to fool themselves that the “matter will be over” with the killing of bin Laden.

“We promise Allah that we will remain firm in the covenant and that we will continue the march, and that the death of the sheikh will only increase our persistence to fight the Jews and the Americans in order to take revenge,” Wahishi said.

In January 2009, the Saudi and Yemeni al-Qaeda branches announced their merger to form the Yemen-based AQAP, which later went on to claim a failed attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound US airliner in December 2009.

Wahishi in his eulogy said bin Laden was killed “while his hand was on the trigger, fighting the enemies of Allah without tiring or surrendering.”

“He was killed while remaining firm and not changing or altering, as he continues according to the covenant of the believers,” Wahishi said.

He stressed that the torch will pass from bin Laden to others who would keep up his work for generations.

“Let the enemies of Allah know that we are determined to take revenge,” he said.

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