Al Qaeda says ‘rise up’
Saber-rattling al Qaeda warnings against the United States emerged Friday as Osama bin Laden’s killing yielded a trove of ominous intelligence, including details about a possible attack on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Al Qaeda, the bin Laden terror network that masterminded the deadly attack on the US 10 years ago, confirmed its leader’s death on Friday in a Web statement, using that opportunity to taunt and threaten the United States.
“Sheikh Osama didn’t build an organization that will vanish with his death or fades away with his departure,” according to the statement, which CNN could not independently authenticate.
The statement, which congratulates the “Islamic Nation on the martyrdom of their devoted son Osama,” repeated themes and threats made over the years in al Qaeda statements, before and after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
“The blood of the mujahed sheikh, Osama bin Laden, may God have mercy on him, is very dear to us and more precious to us and to every Muslim from being shed in vain,” the statement said. A mujahed is defined as a Muslim engaged in what he considers to be jihad.
“This blood will be a curse that will chase the Americans and their agents, a curse that will pursue them inside and outside their country, and soon — with God’s help — we pray that their happiness turns into sorrow and may their blood mix with their tears and let Sheikh Osama’s resonate again.”
Al Qaeda frequently cites the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in its pronouncements, and it did so again, saying America “will neither enjoy nor live in security until our people in Palestine live it and enjoy it.”
“The soldiers of Islam in groups and as individuals will continue to plan and plot without any fatigue, boredom, despair, surrender or indifference until you receive from them a cunning misfortune that will gray the hair of the child even before he gets old,” the statement said.
Pakistanis were urged to revolt and “rise up,” cleansing the “disgrace that was brought upon them by a handful of traitors and thieves” and “their country from the filth of the Americans who have wreaked havoc in the land”.
The statement surfaced as protesters packed the streets of Abbottabad — where bin Laden was shot and killed — in a rally organized by Jamrat-E-Islami, Pakistan’s largest Islamist party. The demonstrators denounced the US and Pakistani governments.
Also, the statement disdained the United States, both its efforts and motives, saying the Americans managed to kill bin Laden “by disgrace and betrayal.” Bin Laden was slain early Monday in a US Navy SEAL raid on a compound in Abbottabad, a military garrison town north of the capital of Islamabad.
“Men and heroes only should be confronted in the battlefields but at the end, that’s God’s fate. Still we ask, will the Americans be able through their media outlets, their agents, their instruments, soldiers, intelligence services and their might be able to kill what Sheikh Osama lived for and was killed for? How far! How impossible!”
Bin Laden was buried at sea in what US officials described as a proper Islamic burial.
But the statement said if Americans treat the bodies of bin Laden or his family members improperly, either dead or alive, or do not hand over the bodies to families, there will be retribution.
“Any offense will open unto your doors of multitudes of evil for which you will only have yourselves to blame.”
According to the statement, bin Laden recorded an audio message a week before his death on the revolutions sweeping the Muslim world and offering advice and guidance. Al Qaeda indicated that the release of this message is forthcoming.
Data at bin Laden hideout provides first specific alert
Meanwhile, investigators poring over material seized in Monday’s raid found details about a possible attack on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and the intelligence led to a nationwide alert regarding rail security.
As early as February 2010, al Qaeda members discussed a plan to derail U.S. trains by placing obstructions on tracks over bridges and valleys, the alert said, according to one law enforcement official.
The plan was to be executed later this year, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, though no specific rail system was identified, the official said.
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed a notice went out to federal, state, local and tribal authorities.
“We have no information of any imminent terrorist threat to the US rail sector, but wanted to make sure our partners are aware of the alleged plotting; it is unclear if any further planning has been conducted since February of last year,” spokesman Matt Chandler said.
US authorities have found that al Qaeda appears especially interested in striking on significant dates such as July Fourth, Christmas and the opening day of the United Nations.
The cache from the compound included audio and video equipment, suggesting bin Laden may have taped makeshift messages there, a US official said.
Ten hard drives, five computers and more than 100 storage devices, such as disks and thumb drives, were also found, a senior US official said. (CNN)
Read full al Qaeda statement.