Osama bin Laden
JERUSALEM – The leader of the group that represents al-Qaida ideology in the Gaza Strip warned in an interview today of “big revenge” against the U.S. and Israel for the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Speaking from the Gaza Strip, Abu Saqer of Jihadiya Salafiya told WND that al-Qaida groups worldwide “made a connection” to initiate what he called “big revenge.”
“It will come very soon,” he claimed.
Abu Saqer did not say how the purported “connection” between al-Qaida groups was made.
The Muslim leader said the immediate target for al-Qaida now was Americans, but he also threatened revenge attacks against Israelis and Westerners.
“All parts of the world where Americans and Zionists and Crusaders are located, these are all available for attacks,” he said.
Abu Saqer’s group is widely suspected to have been behind the kidnapping and murder last month of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni in the Gaza Strip, leading to a major crackdown by Hamas on the al-Qaida-linked group.
While both Hamas and al-Qaida are offshoots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the two groups often clash over a difference in tactics.
Jihadiya Salafiya has been openly challenging Hamas rule, regularly publishing pamphlets labeling Hamas as “non-Muslim” since the terror group ran in 2006 democratic elections, which radical Islamic organizations see as an expression of Western values.
The two groups have engaged in deadly firefights the past two years.
Abu Saqer told WND today that Hamas has already taken steps to prevent his group from attempting revenge attacks for the U.S. operation that killed bin Laden. He said Hamas believes such attacks from Gaza would embarrass the territory’s rulers.
He said his group today received a warning that Hamas would not tolerate any attacks on Westerners from Gaza.
Unlike other radical Islamic organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, which have demonstrated pragmatism in some aspects of political life while still holding a Muslim supremacist worldview, Abu Saqer’s group believes in a strict interpretation of the Quran and that only the Quran can dictate how to act.
The Islamist group believes jihad is the primary way to spread Islam around the world, including jihad against secular Muslim states.
Americans ‘act like terrorists’
Meanwhile, WND interviewed a variety of Palestinian jihadist groups for reaction to bin Laden’s death.
Khaled al-Batch, the spokesman for the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad, slammed the U.S. as “pirates” and “terrorists.”
“The assassination shows that you Americans act exactly like terrorists,” he told WND.
Abu Musab, a leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank, said all jihad groups in the world should be ready to “act against Zionists and Americans.”
He said Islamic Jihad would not carry out attacks in response to the killing of bin Laden. Still, he urged young Muslims around the world to join what he called the “resistance” against the West.
“It shows there will be no peace between Islam and West,” he said of bin Laden’s death.
“This proves that Obama is lying when he is talking about peace in the world and leaving Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. never abandoned its idea to occupy the Muslim world.”
He called for a cease-fire between Hamas and Jihadiya Salafiya.
Abu Adbullah, a leader of Hamas’ so-called military wing, said Hamas would not react directly to bin Laden’s killing.
He claimed Israel might try to target his group in the wake of the al-Qaida chieftain’s death.
“We should be ready for an attempt by the occupation (Israel) to take advantage of the euphoria in America and the West from this assassination,” he told WND.