Britain is next target, warns Islamic terror group

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Islamic militant group which claimed responsibility for last week's Madrid train bombings, has warned that its next targets could be Britain, Japan, Italy, Britain or Australia.

The Islamic militant group which claimed responsibility for last week's Madrid train bombings, has warned that its next target could be Britain, Japan, Italy, Britain or Australia.

The claim came ahead of the news that Spanish police have arrested four more suspects, believed to be of Moroccan origin, over the Madrid terror bombings. Five other men, including three Moroccans, arrested in connection with the attacks are appearing before an investigating magistrate in Madrid today.

The London-based Al Quds said on its website today that it had received a statement from The Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri (al-Qa'ida) stating: "Our brigades are getting ready now for the coming strike. Whose turn will it be next? Is it Japan, America, Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia or Australia?"

The statement, which was e-mailed to the newspaper, warned these countries that "the brigades of death are at your doors," adding that they would strike "with an iron hand at the right time and place."

On the evening of the Madrid bombings, which killed 200 people and injured more than 1,600, the paper released a copy of an e-mail from Abu Hafs al-Masri in which they made the first claim of responsibility.

The United States believes the Abu Hafs group lacks credibility and has only tenuous ties to al-Qa'ida. In the past, the group has claimed responsibility for events to which they were not connected — such as last summer's blackouts in North America and Britain.

Spanish authorities suspect an al-Qa'ida-linked cell carried out the bombings. Moroccan authorities have said the emerging evidence in the Madrid attacks points toward Ansar al-Islam, a guerrilla group blamed for terrorist strikes in Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Morocco.

The statement tells American voters that Abu Hafs al-Masri supports the re-election campaign of US President George W. Bush: "We are very keen that Bush does not lose the upcoming elections."

Addressing the President, it says: "We know that a heavyweight operation would destroy your government, and this is what we don't want. We are not going to find a bigger idiot than you."

The group also reiterated its claim of responsibility for the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad last August which killed 22 people, including the world body's chief envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

The statement described the United Nations as "America's tail...the United Nations (against Islam) is a branch of the American Foreign Ministry," it said.

"The crimes of the United Nations against Islam are countless. The way to get rid of that humiliation is through holy war that will continue until doomsday," the statement said.

Comments