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The leader of the group that represents al-Qaida ideology in the Gaza Strip spent two days in jail last year for an interview with WND’s Aaron Klein in which the jihadist warned of “big revenge” against the U.S. and Israel for the killing of Osama bin Laden, it has been disclosed.
Immediately following bin Laden’s killing, Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadiya Salafiya, said in a WND interview with Klein that al-Qaida groups worldwide “made a connection” to initiate what he called “big revenge.”
The interview apparently embarrassed Gaza’s Hamas leadership, prompting Saqer’s arrest.
Despite his detention last year, the defiant jihadist granted another interview with Klein today for the journalist’s WABC Radio show, where Saqer first disclosed that he had been arrested in response to last year’s interview.
“What I can say is that the interview took place after the assassination of Osama bin Laden and at the time the leadership in Gaza didn’t want any kind of talks, conversation regarding al-Qaida,” said Saqer, speaking on Klein’s program from a cell phone in Gaza.
“And I was arrested after being listened [to], talking about the future of the Jihadiya Salafiya, the future of al-Qaeda and touching some precise military issues,” he said.
Klein said that after his on-air conversation, Saqer further related his arrest lasted two days and that he was released after posting bail for 1,500 Israeli Shekel, or about $397.
Saqer’s interview with Klein today evidenced a marked contrast from the conversation last year. Today, Saqer said he could not discuss any operational issues.
Still, he mocked a State Department official who reportedly said last month that most of al-Qaida has been killed and that the so-called war on terror is over.
“We won’t be defeated by the West,” said Saqer. “The jihad started at the time of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet was dead. The Qaliphs that came after the Prophet were dead and became shahids. And the ancestors kept the campaign of spreading Islam and the jihad.”
Added Saqer: “The jihad won’t stop. We [are] like a sea. One day the waves are high, one day the waves are low. But we are keeping on, we are maintaining the jihad. We might be now in a period of rebuilding ourselves. But as there is one Muslim kid on earth, the jihad will be going on.”
Jihadiya Salafia operates under the banner of al-Qaida. 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.