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Al-Qa’ida threatens new fast attacks

The following is a copy of an article published midday Sunday, local time, from the Cairo, Egypt bureau of the Indian Mid-Day Mumbai publication:

Al-Qaida threatens faster, harder strikes against the United States and Israel “on land, air and sea” in a new statement attributed to the main Sept. 11 suspect that was posted on a militant website today.

“The Jewish Crusader coalition will not be safe anywhere from the fighters’ attacks,” the statement said, using a term common among Islamic militants for what they see as a U.S.-Israeli alliance. “We will hit the most vital centers and we will strike against its strategic operations with all possible means.”

The statement was attributed to al-Qaida spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. The web site, which has posted previous statements attributed to the terror network, included what appeared to be an old newspaper photograph of Abu Ghaith with the statement posted today.

The whereabouts of Abu Ghaith, along with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, have been a mystery since the network was chased out of its Afghan haven by U.S. bombing following the Sept. 11 attacks.

“We will chase the enemy with terrifying weapons,” today’s statement said. “We have to widen our fighting fronts and conduct more concentrated and faster operations … so (the enemy) feels unsafe and unstable on land, air and sea.”

The statement attributed to Abu Ghaith also said a purported al-Qaida claim of responsibility for the Nov. 28 attacks on Israelis in Kenya was genuine. That claim was posted on several other Islamic sites last week.

Today’s statement noted that al-Qaida does not usually claim responsibility for attacks, but would do so “according to the relevant circumstances.”