Thursday, May 5, 2011
Al-Qaida in Yemen vows revenge
A LEADER of al-Qaida's branch in Yemen has vowed revenge for the US killing of the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden."We will take revenge for the death of our Sheikh Osama bin Laden and we will prove this to the enemies of God," he told AFP, contacted by telephone from Yemen's southern province of Abyan, an al-Qaida stronghold."They will see what they haven't expected ... We are preparing a plan to continue jihad in the coming period," said the al-Qaida leader, requesting anonymity for "security reasons.""The martyrdom of Sheikh Osama does not mean that jihad (holy war) will end."
The official said that bin Laden had "prepared a thousand lions like himself and we will follow his path until we achieve God's promise to us - an Islamic Caliphate."The US announced on Monday that US commandos had shot dead bin Laden in a raid on his sprawling villa near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.Residents in Yemen's Abyan towns of Mudia, Mahfad and Loder - all of which are controlled by al-Qaida - said the jihadist network's supporters, mourning bin Laden, put up black banners at their homes and along roads.Saudi and Yemeni al-Qaida branches merged in January 2009 to form the Yemen-based Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), posing a serious threat to US interests as well as Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.While bin Laden's ancestral homeland of Yemen has hailed his death, his followers in the impoverished country called it a "catastrophe" and vowed to keep up jihad.In March, at least 150 people were killed in a massive blast and fire at an ammunition plant looted the previous day by AQAP in Abyan, after parts of the region slipped from the capital Sanaa's control.Washington has expressed fears that al-Qaida could take advantage of a prolonged political crisis in Yemen, where close US ally Saleh has faced three months of mass protests calling for his ouster.