London, 22 July (AKI) – A new message has appeared on the Internet, purportedly from the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, threatening the capitals of Italy, Holland and Denmark. The group, which has also claimed responsibility for the failed bombings in London on Thursday, said: “We therefore bless these attacks and also announce that the next will be terrible for the enemy of Allah and will ignite a bloody war against whoever offers support to the American infidels in the region.”
“The next words will be deep in the European capitals in Rome, and in Amsterdam and Denmark, who still have their armies in Iraq, under the authority of the Americans and British,” the statement said.
“We renew the message to Rome, to Berlusconi. The fact that the Italian troops remain in Iraq is nothing but digging their own grave, we will pull them out of their trenches with our own hands, the soldiers of Islam will not remain still. Instead, the next few days will be like we have promised and there will be hard strikes and in places you don’t expect and from us you only see blood as long as the Italian troops remain in Iraq,” the message continued.
The authenticity of this document is still to be verified, but it contains anomalies which make it slightly different from those issued in the last few days in the name of the group, which, earlier this year, called on its ‘sleeping cells’ to launch attacks in Europe.
The statement is dated wrongly, saying “Saturday 22 July 2005”, instead of Friday. The document also calls on Holland to withdraw its troops from Iraq, even though the 1,400-strong Dutch contingent left the country in March, despite Britain and America’s efforts to get them to stay.
Also, the statement was not posted on an independent internet site, as is customary for the Al-Masri Brigades, but published directly in a forum. This element also raises doubts over the authenticity of the message.
The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades took their battle name from al-Qaeda‘s training commander, the Egyptian Abu Hafs. He was a core member of the Islamic Jihad group, but was reportedly killed during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in autumn 2001. The Brigades also claimed responsibility for the Madrid train bombings of March 11 last year.
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