Sunday 25 June 2017

Osama’s dead but we will strike again, Al Qaida warns

A supporter of the Pakistani religious party Jamiat-e-ulema-e-Islam holds an image of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden during an anti-US rally on the outskirts of Quetta. Photo: Reuters
Vice President Joe Biden, left, President Barack Obama, second left, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, right, watch the mission against Osama bin Laden unfold in the Situation Room of the White House. Photo: AP

Al Qaida has issued its first confirmation of Osama bin Laden's death in an internet statement posted on militant websites.

Today’s statement by the terror network says bin Laden's blood "will not be wasted" and it will continue attacking Americans and their allies.

Bin Laden was killed on Monday by US commandos during a raid on his hideout in Pakistan.

Al Qaida warned of retaliation, saying Americans' "happiness will turn to sadness." The confirmation came in an internet statement posted on militant websites, signed by "the general leadership" of al Qaida.

The announcement opens the way for the group to name a successor to bin Laden. His deputy Ayman al-Zawahri is now the most prominent figure in the group and is a very likely contender to take his place.

The statement, dated May 3, was the first by the terror network since bin Laden was killed on Monday by US commandos in a raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

"We stress that the blood of the holy warrior sheikh, Osama bin Laden, God bless him, is precious to us and to all Muslims and will no go in vain," the statement said. "We will remain, God willing, a curse chasing the Americans and their agents, following them outside and inside their countries."

"Soon, God willing, their happiness will turn to sadness," it said, "their blood will be mingled with their tears."

In the statement, al Qaida also called on the people of Pakistan - "where Sheik Osama was killed" - to rise up in revolt against its leaders.

It also said that an audio message bin Laden recorded a week before his death would be issued soon.

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