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Purported Al Qaeda Tape Played

September 08, 2003|From Reuters

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Vowing attacks on Americans everywhere, a new audiotape purportedly from Al Qaeda was broadcast Sunday by the Arabic television channel Al Arabiya.

"We announce there will be new attacks inside and outside which will make America forget the attacks of Sept. 11," a man identified as an Al Qaeda spokesman said on the tape.

The man gave his name as Abu Abdel-Rahman Najdi. Al Arabiya broadcast a still photo of a bearded man wearing a headdress as it played the tape. There was no immediate independent verification of the identity of the speaker.

"We assure the Muslims that Al Qaeda ranks have doubled.... Our casualties are nothing compared to our [good] conditions now," he said. "Our coming martyrdom operations will prove to you what we are saying."

The speaker denied links to the killing of Ayatollah Mohammed Bakr Hakim in a car-bomb attack in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf last month. Some U.S. and Iraqi reports have suggested Al Qaeda was behind the blast that killed the leading Shiite Muslim cleric and 100 others.

"We strongly deny that Al Qaeda had any hand in this bombing that killed Mohammed Bakr Hakim, violated the sanctity of one of God's houses and killed innocent people," he said. "Our highest aim is to fight the Americans and kill them everywhere on Earth and drive them out of Palestine, the Arabian Peninsula and Iraq."

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