PUBLIC DECLARATIONS FROM OSAMA BIN-LADEN’S RIGHT-HAND MAN
By Yvonne Ridley
Osama bin-Laden’s right hand man boasted about the terrorist strike on Israeli tourists in Kenya days before the atrocity – and has warned that
more attacks against the West are imminent.
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who is regarded as the official spokesman for al-Quaeda, made some startling and shocking claims in Arabic on an audio tape. His revelations included:
* Bin-Laden will make another television broadcast within the next 10 days.
* Taliban fighters are preparing to regroup and start another war in
* Terrorist operations against American and Jewish targets are about to be
* Suicide bombers are preparing to wreak havoc across the globe.
Abu Ghaith's message which was transcribed and shown to Globe-Intel also insists the al-Quaeda leader bin-Laden is in “excellent health” but
added: “The Jihad is not dependent on the al-Quaeda organisation nor on Osama bin-Laden or anyone else.”
He also makes an oblique reference to September 11 describing it as a “historical and great victory that broke the back of the Americans, the
largest (human) power in this world.”
British and American intelligence sources spent last week studying the tape contents for clues as to where al-Quaeda forces will launch their next attack.
“We knew East Africa was always going to be in the frame and suicide operatives have been used there before, but the audacity of these strikes has caught out everyone. Al-Quaeda's last East African operations were carried out by Yemeni and Egyptian members.
“The al-Quaeda network is like a grapevine. Everything is done to protect the vine and they are prepared to sacrifice cells because at the moment there appears to be no shortage of volunteers,” said a British intelligence source.
“Abu Ghaith said his martyrdom units were ready to attack American and Jewish targets inside and outside America, but that gives us very little to go on. He also warns America to be ready for another attack and says: ‘They should fasten their seatbelts.’ It is difficult to read into exactly what that means but it could be significant,” added the source.
One warning given by Abu Ghaith which will send a chill through Downing Street and the White House is that the war in Afghanistan is “far from over”. The al-Quaeda spokesman insisted the Taliban is regrouping and co-operating with other ‘Mujahedin’ in the country.
Abu Ghaith described the US President's War Against Terror a “failure” adding: “If America thinks the fall of the Taliban is a success, then they still don't know the Afghan people. America will see in the coming few
months that it has fallen into the Afghan quagmire from which is can rescue
itself only if it leaves (Afghanistan) defeated”.
A Middle Eastern intelligence source added some gravity to Abu Ghaith's Afghan warnings when he said: “We have evidence that 80 per cent of the war lords outside of Kabul have said they will support an uprising, even if it is co-ordinated by the Taliban.
“We have heard for some time now that the Taliban is regrouping and there is evidence to support this along the tribal areas straddling the Pak-Afghan border.
“The Afghans are a very strange people. They stood up to the British on more than one occasion and brought about the start of the fall of the Russian Empire. They could yet prove to be America's nemesis.”
After listening to the tape, he said he was largely concerned with the direct threat to the Saudi Royal Family and in particular Crown Prince Abdullah who is accused by al-Quaeda of “treachery and betrayal” of the Muslim people.
The threats to the Crown Prince appear in the final minutes of the tape after most of Abu Ghaith's rantings were directed at American and Jewish people.
Throughout the 15 minute tape there are liberal sprinklings of Qu'aranic quotations and references to Allah by Abu Ghaith who is also on America's ‘most wanted’ terrorist list.
Gordon Thomas; Global-Intel - 9 Dec