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Al Qaeda confirms Osama Bin Laden death and vows more attacks on America

The group warned that American happiness will turn to sadness and said that an audio message from Bin Laden, recorded a week before his death, would be released soon.

Image: Arshad Butt/AP/Press Association Images

AL QAEDA HAS confirmed the death of its leader Osama Bin Laden on a statement posted to a jihadist internet forum today.

The statement comes following the confirmation by the United States earlier this week that Bin Laden was killed in a raid on his compound in Pakistan last Sunday.

Al Qaeda warned of retaliation for the death of its leader, saying Americans’ “happiness will turn to sadness.”

The confirmation came in an internet statement posted on militant websites, signed by “the general leadership” of Al Qaeda.

The announcement opens the way for the group to name a successor to bin Laden. His deputy Ayman al-Zawahri is now the most prominent figure in the group and is a very likely contender to take his place.

The statement’s authenticity could not be independently confirmed, but it was posted on websites where the group traditionally puts out its messages:

We stress that the blood of the holy warrior sheik, Osama bin Laden, God bless him, is precious to us and to all Muslims and will no go in vain.

We will remain, God willing, a curse chasing the Americans and their agents, following them outside and inside their countries.

Soon, God willing, their happiness will turn to sadness. Their blood will be mingled with their tears.

In the statement, Al Qaeda also called on the people of Pakistan — “where Sheik Osama was killed” — to rise up in revolt against its leaders.

The militant Islamist group also said that an audio message bin Laden recorded a week before his death would be issued soon.

The statement comes on the day it emerged that the computers, DVDs and documents uncovered from the compound in which Bin Laden was found and killed detailed plans for further attacks on the US by Al Qaeda.

These revealed one idea, outlined in handwritten notes, to tamper with an unspecified US rail track so that a train would fall off the track at a valley or a bridge.

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Counterterrorism officials said they believe the plot was only in the initial planning stages, and there is no recent intelligence about any active plan for such an attack.

Other intelligence pulled from the compound represented a terrorist wish list but has revealed no specific plan so far.

Some documents indicated a desire to strike the U.S. with large-scale attacks in major cities and on key dates such as anniversaries and holidays.

But there never was any sign that those were anything more than ambitions, said a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence.

- AP

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