Home > Terrorism, World News > Al-Qaeda vows to avenge Osama’s death

Al-Qaeda vows to avenge Osama’s death

The Pakistani Taliban on Tuesday warned that they would target Pakistan
and the US to avenge the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden by US
special forces.
WASHINGTON: Al-Qaeda on Friday vowed to avenge
the death of Osama bin Laden and urged Muslims to rise up against the
United States, as rallies against the killing of the 9/11 mastermind in a
US raid flared in the Islamic world.
“We
call upon our Muslim people in Pakistan, on whose land Sheikh Osama was
killed, to rise up and revolt to cleanse this shame,” the terror
network said in a statement released by the SITE monitoring group.


Confirming
Osama’s death for the first time, Al-Qaeda urged Pakistani Muslims “to
cleanse their country from the filth of the Americans who spread
corruption in it.”
In the statement posted on jihadist Internet forums, the Islamist group
proclaimed its Saudi-born founder a “martyr,” adding he had “terrified
all the nations of disbelief.”

The White House swiftly said it
was on alert for security threats as Al-Qaeda also vowed to release an
audio tape made by their inspirational leader just a week before he was
shot dead on Monday by US commandos in Pakistan.

“We are quite
aware of the potential for activity and are highly vigilant on that
matter for that reason,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

US
President Barack Obama was on Friday to meet privately with members of
the elite commando team who carried out the risky helicopter-borne raid
of the fortified compound in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad where
Osama had been hiding.

The meeting comes a day after Obama laid a
wreath at Ground Zero, the site where the felled World Trade Centre
once stood, in a sombre moment aimed at bringing closure to Americans
still haunted by the September 11, 2011 attacks.

And he vowed
that Osama’s death had proved America will never fail to bring
terrorists to justice, saying “when we say we will never forget, we mean
what we say.”

The White House has been eager to avoid any
triumphalism over the elimination of the world’s most wanted man, blamed
for the 2001 attacks in which almost 3,000 people were killed, in a bid
to avoid whipping up Muslim anger.

But Al-Qaeda vowed the blood of Osama “is more precious to us and to every Muslim than to be wasted in vain”.

And
on the traditional day of prayers, hundreds of Islamists rallied in
Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey to vow revenge for the death of Osama, who
had inspired militant Muslims for decades.

In Abbottabad, just 50
kilometres from the capital Islamabad, where Osama was finally tracked
down after a years-long manhunt, police marshalled a rally of about
1,000 men.

Setting fire to tyres and blocking a main road, the
protesters yelled: “Down, down USA!” and “Terrorist, terrorist, USA
terrorist.”

Hundreds took to the streets in the insurgency-riven
Pakistani city of Quetta near the Afghan border to chant “Long live
Osama” and call for holy war against America.

Islamists also
rallied in Cairo, but were stopped by soldiers about a block from the US
embassy, and resorted to shouting “leave, leave” and “lower the
(American) flag.”

About 200 people, including a small group of
veiled women, also gathered outside an Istanbul mosque after Friday
prayers carrying pictures of Osama.

One banner in English read: “We will not forget the crimes of US and Israel.”

Lebanese
radical cleric Omar Bakri, who hailed the 9/11 hijackers as the
“magnificent 19,” has called for prayers to mourn Osama in Lebanon and
outside US embassies around the world.

“We call on our followers
in Europe, Canada and especially Britain to pray for his soul outside
American embassies,” Bakri, who was based in Britain for nearly two
decades, told AFP.

Intelligence seized during Monday’s operation
showed the architect of the 9/11 attacks had remained closely involved
in Al-Qaeda despite hiding away from the outside world.

The
network had even been mulling strikes on US trains on the 10th
anniversary of the September 11 attacks, US officials said on Thursday.

It
is not yet clear how far Osama’s death is likely to affect Al-Qaeda’s
operational capabilities and its ability to follow through on its
threats. And Friday’s protests were only limited in scale.

After
days of questions in Washington over how the 9/11 architect found
shelter, Pakistan’s military hit back demanding the US cut its troop
presence in the country to a “minimum”.

But former Pakistani
president Pervez Musharraf blamed the failure to detect Osama on the
“incompetence” of his country’s intelligence services.

“One can draw only two conclusions,” Musharraf told National Public Radio.

“One
is complicity from our intelligence agencies. The second is
incompetence and I strongly believe in the latter,” Musharraf said. “I
cannot imagine that there was complicity.”

In another sign of
potential lapses by the Pakistani intelligence services, the Washington
Post reported that the CIA had maintained a safe house in Abbottabad
undetected for several months to spy on Osama’s compound.

The close-up spying operation allowed them to draw up a “pattern of life” for the occupants inside, the paper said.

Obama’s meeting on Friday with the commandos was to take place at the Fort Campbell army base in Kentucky, an official said.

The
president “will have the opportunity to privately thank some of the
special operators involved in the operation,” the official said.

The
Obama administration has been forced to defend the raid’s legality
after acknowledging Osama was unarmed when he was shot dead.

But
new details have been released of the operation after conflicting
accounts from the White House. The SEALs also found an AK-47 and a
pistol in his room, a US official told AFP Thursday.

“He had
weapons in his room, more than one,” said the official, who spoke on
condition of anonymity. “He was not compliant. He did not surrender.”

The
official said the commandos encountered just one armed man at the
compound – Osama’s courier – who opened fire near the start of the
nearly 40-minute operation.

US media reported the courier was
killed along with his wife in a guest house adjacent to the main
residence where Osama was hiding.

At the larger three-story
building, commandos shot and killed the courier’s brother, who
reportedly had one hand behind his back. US officials have said Osama’s
son was also killed in the raid.


The Long War Journal
Categories: Terrorism, World News
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