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Last Updated: Monday, 17 November, 2003, 12:57 GMT
Al-Qaeda statement: Full text
The London-based Arabic newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi published on Monday a statement it said it had received the day before from a group claiming responsibility for Saturday's bomb attacks in Istanbul.

The paper says the group, the Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri, is linked to al-Qaeda.

The following is the text of the statement:

In our statement, entitled the Sword of Justice-4, we had said and promised that the gift of Jerusalem is coming, God willing. Here comes the first strike of this gift. The Brigades of Abu-Hafz al-Masri, may his soul rest in peace, kept agents of the Jewish intelligence service, Mossad, under surveillance. After establishing that five agents of this agency were present in two Jewish synagogues in Istanbul, the mujahidin dealt their fatal blow.

The rest (other operations) will be forthcoming, God willing. The Jews of the entire world will regret the fact that their predecessors even thought of invading the Muslim lands. The future days will prove this. Everybody should know that what is coming will even be worse.

We tell the criminal Bush and his lackeys, both Arabs and foreign, especially Britain, Italy, Australia, and Japan, that the cars of death will not be limited to Baghdad, Riyadh, Istanbul, Djerba, Al-Nasiriyah, Jakarta, and so forth.


They will see them with their own eyes in the capital of the idol of this age, the United States, and until Washington submits to the conditions of the mujahideen which we mentioned in our statement to the nation after the Jakarta-2 heroic operation.

These conditions are as follows:

1. To release our prisoners in US prisons, especially the Guantanamo prisoners, the mujahid Sheikh Umar Abd-al-Rahman, and all those in the prisons of America's Arab, foreign, Persian, and Jewish lackeys.

2. To desist from their war on Islam and Muslims all over the world in the name of fighting terrorism.

3. To purge all Muslim lands from the Jewish and American desecration, including Jerusalem and Kashmir.

4. The United States should not stand between us and the tyrannical governments that govern the Muslims, so that we can establish the state of the righteous Islamic caliphate, God willing.

'Right to retaliate'

The followers of America, particularly Britain, Italy, Australia, and Japan, did not understand what the leader of the mujahideen, Osama Bin Laden, may God preserve him, said before Ramadan, threatening martyrdom-seeking operations inside and outside America. He said verbatim: We reserve the right to retaliate against Italy and other countries.

This is a golden opportunity for the rest of the agents to understand the message and to withdraw from the crusade alliance against Islam and Muslims. If they do not understand the message, the cars of death will make them understand.

We remind our brothers everywhere that our strategy of exhausting and distracting the snake, America, before we deal our deadly blow will continue. God willing, our strike will be deadly, diversified, qualitative, and sudden so that the enemy will not know where, when, and how we will strike.

We say to those who accuse the mujahideen of killing innocent people: By God, you have lied. People of sound mind deny this accusation.

We left our countries, faced difficulties, and abandoned luxurious life and safety to travel to Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, Somalia, Kashmir, and other Islamic countries to defend Muslims, their honour, their religion, and their security, as well as to preserve their souls and to die for their sake.

Some claim that we consider most Muslims as non-believers and sanction killing them. How do we go everywhere to protect them and then sanction shedding their blood? This cannot be accepted by sound reason, let alone a Muslim who knows the rulings of God...

Call to war

...O people: The war has started, the call of jihad has been made, and the gates of heaven have been opened. Unless you choose to be the knights of the war, then make way for the women to wage this war, and go to your braziers and kohl jars, you women but with turbans and beards..."

An appeal to our brothers from the victorious sect [Sunnis]: Our brothers, where are you? You have been absent for a long time.

Do you not know that your religion is being fought and the Shari'ah law of your God is being taken lightly? Your lands and your women are being violated. Your scholars are behind bars, your brothers are vagrant or imprisoned. Your land has become a nest for the worshipers of idols and is being plundered...

...We tell our brothers (the Al-Qa'qa, Tariq, and Death Brigades) that they must now head for Iraq to support the brigades stationed in the land of Mesopotamia.

O nation of Islam: You should support those fighting for the cause of God, each according to his ability. Those who can support them by waging jihad, thus sacrificing their own souls, let them do so.

Those who cannot, then let them do so by their money. If they do not have money, then let them do so by their speech. If they cannot, then let them pray, and look carefully for the times of [God's] response to prayers. Those who do not want to pray, then let them shut up and spare them their evil...

..."God is great. God is great. Islam is coming whether with the honouring of the honourable or with the humiliation of the lowly.

[Signed] The Abu-Hafz al-Masri Brigades, Thursday, 20 Ramadan 1424 Hegira, corresponding to 15 November 2003.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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