Reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan — Al Qaeda vowed to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden with retaliation against the U.S. "soon," in a warning that the terrorist network posted this week on militant websites.
In confirming the death of its leader in a statement dated Tuesday, Al Qaeda urged Muslims to not stray from the path of armed struggle against the United States. The terrorist network said it would soon release an audio message made by Bin Laden a week before his death in which he passes along "advice and guidance."
Bin Laden was killed early Monday in a U.S. commando raid on a compound in the Pakistan garrison city of Abbottabad that he had used as a hideout for the last five years. Experts have said his death deals a significant blow to Al Qaeda but probably won't mean its demise.
The Internet statement released by Al Qaeda warned that "soon, with God's help, we pray that their happiness turns into sorrow, and may their blood mix with their tears." Al Qaeda militants, the statement said, "will continue to plan and plot without any fatigue, boredom, despair, surrender or indifference."
Al Qaeda also urged Pakistanis to mount an uprising against their U.S.-allied government.
The statement appeared to be written before the U.S. government announced that Bin Laden had been buried at sea in accordance with Islamic rites. "We warn the Americans to not commit any injustice against the corpse of Sheik Osama. … Any inappropriate treatment will open the doors of double evil."
On Friday, the U.S. carried out its first drone missile strike in Pakistan since Bin Laden's death, killing 13 suspected militants in North Waziristan. The tribal region along the Afghan border is home to Afghan Taliban militants who routinely cross the border into Afghanistan to launch attacks on U.S. and NATO forces.
The strike involved eight missiles fired at suspected militants in a car, a restaurant and a local seminary in the Datta Khel area. That village was the site of a controversial drone strike March 17 that killed more than 40 people, most of whom Pakistani officials said were tribal elders and civilians rather than militants. U.S. officials insisted the people killed were militants.
Special correspondent Zulfiqar Ali in Peshawar, Pakistan, contributed to this report.