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Central & South Asia
Al-Qaeda 'will avenge US strike'
Group's leader in Afghanistan vows retaliation for US killing of top commander.
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2008 15:48 GMT

Al-Yazid said his men will fulfill al-Libi's
aspirations [Photo: IntelCenter]

Al-Qaeda's leader in Afghanistan has vowed revenge for the killing of one of its top commanders in neighbouring Pakistan last week, saying Abu Laith al-Libi was killed by the weapon of "despicable cowards".
 
US officials said al-Libi died when a US missile struck a compound outside the town of Mir Ali in Pakistan's North Waziristan province.
Issuing the threat in a video statement released on Wednesday, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid said al-Qaeda fighters would retaliate against the "enemies of God" for al-Libi's death.

"The men he trained ... will not rest until they avenge him and realise his aspirations and hopes, God willing," he said in the video recording.

 

"The enemies of Allah were incapable of confronting [al-Libi] on the battlefield, nor were they able to compete with him as equals, for they are too cowardly and despicable for that. No, they used the weapon of treachery and betrayal."

 

The 12-minute clip which was posted on a website bore the logo of al-Qaeda's media wing, as-Sahab, and had English subtitles.

 

'Tomorrow is close'

 

Al-Libi trained al-Qaeda fighters in
Pakistan [Photo: IntelCenter]
Al-Yazid said the martyrdom of al-Libi and other top al-Qaeda leaders only "strengthens, stabilises, sharpens and stimulates" the fight against infidels.

 

"So, the killing of these heroic chiefs doesn't, and won't, end the march of jihad or extinguish its torch or put out its light as the enemies imagine," he said, adding: "Tomorrow is close."

 

Up to 13 foreign fighters were killed in the attack in North Waziristan.

 

Al-Libi, a Libyan citizen, was blamed for an attack in February last year on the US air base at Bagram, Afghanistan, during a visit by Dick Cheney, the US vice president.

 

Cheney escaped unhurt, but nearly 23 people were killed in the attack.

 

In October the US placed a $200,000 bounty on al-Libi and listed him among its 12 most-wanted men in Afghanistan.

 

In November he appeared in a video with Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaeda's second-in-command, to announce that a Libyan Islamist group had joined the network.

 

Al-Libi's messages are often posted on Islamist websites, including one in May in which he said al-Qaeda in Afghanistan was willing to exchange prisoners with Britain and other Western countries.
Source:
Agencies
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