An al-Qaida commander in Iraq close to Osama bin Laden warns of an imminent massive attack against the U.S. designed to kill as many as 100,000 people.
A leader who identifies himself as Abu Salma Al-Hijazi said in an interview posted on al-Qal’a – “The Fortress” – an Islamist Internet forum, “a huge and very courageous strike” has been planned, reports the Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.
The attack, which he anticipates during the current month-long Muslim observance of Ramadan, will “amaze the world and turn al-Qaida into [an organization that] horrifies the world until the law of Allah is implemented, actually implemented, and not just in words, on his land. …”
Al-Hijazi vowed, “You wait and see that the balance of power between al-Qaida and its rivals will change, all of a sudden, Allah willing.”
The interview, according to the article, took place in Iraq, south of Faluja, with five masked men carrying missiles and personal weapons surrounding al-Hijazi.
Al-Hijazi said al-Qaida is keeping an eye on detainees held by coalition forces.
“We follow their situation closely. … The collaborating governments will pay the price for capturing these heroes who want to revive the glory of their nation and shake off the dust of humiliation and disgrace,” he said.
He added the “collaborating and treacherous” governments should know al-Qaida has a long reach, and its members enjoy popularity that will not end just because apostate governments detain hundreds of al-Qaida members.
“As soon as the governments detain one of our people, ten like him join us. … This is no secret,” he said.
Al-Hijazi said al-Qaida’s target is Americans, not the governments of Islamic nations.
“We are patient,” he said. “Our patience will only end with the collapse of America and its agents.”
He added: “There is no doubt that the demise of America and its collapse will lead to the collapse of these fragile regimes that depend on it. … We will not stop until we establish the Islamic caliphate and until Allah’s law is implemented in his land.”
Al-Hijazi contended reports the recent bombing in Riyadh killed Muslim women and children were “merely media deceit.”
He said al-Qaida had watched the compound for many months and determined its inhabitants were at least 300 Americans and a large group of Lebanese Christians “who had tortured Muslims” in Lebanon during the civil war.
“After consultation, we decided it was appropriate to attack this place and destroy it, including the people who lived there, because it housed Americans and a large majority of Christians holding Lebanese citizenship,” he said.
“Since the Saudi government is aware of the sensitivity of this place and that it is a declared target for al-Qaida, it surrounded it with very heavy security,” he continued. “However, we gave our people in Riyadh a green light to destroy it on top of those inside.
“Allah facilitated breaking into the place and bombing the part in which mostly Americans stayed,” al-Hijazi said. “As a result, praise Allah, at least 40 Americans were killed, as well as 27 Christians from Lebanon and a group of citizens who were Muslim; also, at least 70 Americans were injured, as well as more than 30 citizens of other countries, most of them Christians from Lebanon.”
According to Al-Hijazi, a Saudi religious scholar who is wanted by Saudi authorities will claim responsibility in a televised communiqu? for the bombing “and for other operations to come.”
He added the wills of the attackers will be published in the month of Shawwal – the month following Ramadan according to the Muslim calendar – when al-Qaida’s main website, al-Nida, is due to be reactivated.