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Friday, November 14, 2003

Al-Qa'ida in Iraq: 'A Terror Attack Against the U.S. With 100,000
Deaths is Imminent'

Special Dispatch from MEMRI
Al-Qal'a (The Fortress) an Islamist Internet forum, posted the first of a two-part interview with a person who introduced himself as Abu Salma Al-Hijazi, one of the Al-Qa'ida commanders closest to Osama bin Laden. The interview was conducted in Iraq, south of Faluja. The article notes that Al-Hijazi was surrounded by five masked men carrying missiles as well as personal weapons. The article was posted by Abu Saqr Al-Najdi; no other details were given. The following are excerpts from the interview:

100,000 Deaths Expected in An Imminent Attack Against the U.S.

In regard to rumors about a large-scale attack against the U.S. during the month of Ramadan, Al-Hijazi said that "a huge and very courageous strike" will take place and that the number of infidels expected to be killed in this attack, according to primary estimates, exceeds 100,000. He added that he "anticipates, but will not swear, that the attack will happen during Ramadan."

He further stated that the attack will be carried out in a way that will "amaze the world and turn Al-Qai'da into [an organization that] horrifies the world until the law of Allah is implemented, actually implemented, and not just in words, on His land... You wait and see that the balance of power between Al-Qai'da and its rivals will change, all of a sudden, Allah willing."

Al-Hijazi said that Al-Qai'da instructed its members not to confront the governments of Islamic countries and clarified that Americans are the main target of the organization, wherever they may be, in order to cause their disintegration and collapse, even if it takes a long time. "We are patient," he added, "our patience will only end with the collapse of America and its agents."

Al-Hijazi also said: "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."

When asked about the recent bombing in Riyadh, Al-Hijazi referred to Saudi media reports - which claimed that in the attack Muslim women and children were killed - as "merely media deceit." He added: "This place was under surveillance for many months. Following a thorough investigation, it became perfectly clear to us that the people living there were at least 300 Americans and a large group of Lebanese Christians who had tortured Muslims there, 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."

"Allah facilitated breaking into the place and bombing the part in which mostly Americans stayed. 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 communiqué for the bombing "and for other operations to come." He added that the wills of the attackers will be published, apparently, in the month of Shawwal - the month following Ramadan according to the Muslim calendar - when Al-Qa'ida's main website, Al-Nida, is due to be reactivated.