Al-Qaeda in Iraq: Test nukes on US bases
Terror group leader al-Masri calls in audio message for explosives experts, nuclear scientists to join holy war against West; adds: Field of jihad can satisfy your scientific ambitions, and large American bases in Iraq are good places to test your unconventional weapons
"The blood has been spilled in Iraq of more than 4,000 foreigners who came to fight," said the man, who identified himself as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The voice could not be independently identified.
The Arabic word he used indicated he was speaking about foreigners who joined the insurgency in Iraq, not coalition troops.
The speaker said "the field of jihad" could provide scientists with an avenue for experimentation.
"The field of jihad (holy war) can satisfy your scientific ambitions, and the large American bases (in Iraq) are good places to test your unconventional weapons, whether biological or dirty, as they call them," he said.
'Enable us to capture some Western dogs'
In the recording, al-Masri also urged Muslims to make Ramadan a "month of holy war" and called for insurgents in Iraq to kidnap Westerners. Sunni Arabs began observing Ramadan in Iraq on Saturday, while Shiites were to begin Monday.
Al-Masri called on insurgents in Iraq to capture Westerners so they could be traded for the imprisoned Egyptian sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted in 1995 of conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks.
"I appeal to every holy warrior in the land of Iraq to exert all efforts in this holy month so that God may enable us to capture some of the Western dogs to swap them with our sheik and get him out of his dark prison," the voice on the tape said.
Al-Masri, a Sunni Muslim, has been relatively silent since taking over control of al-Qaeda in Iraq earlier this year a sharp contrast with al-Zarqawi, who frequently issued audiotapes and even a videotape that showed his face a few weeks before his death.
Al-Masri is believed to have succeeded Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who died in a US air strike north of Baghdad in June, as the head of al-Qaedain Iraq.
Iraq al-Qaeda: Pope, West are doomed
Extremist group vows to continue 'holy war' warns pontiff: 'We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax'
Associated Press Published: 09.18.06, 17:15
An al-Qaeda-linked extremist group warned Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that he and the West were "doomed," as protesters returned to the streets across the Muslim world to demand more of an apology from the pontiff for his remarks about Islam and violence.
The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq, issued a statement on a Web forum vowing to continue its holy war against the West. The authenticity of the statement could not be independently verified.
The group said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross" saying "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."
Islam forbids drinking alcohol and requires non-Muslims to pay a head tax to safeguard their lives if conquered by Muslims. They are exempt if they convert to Islam.
In Indian-controlled Kashmir, meanwhile, shops, businesses and schools shut down in response to a strike call by the head of a hard-line Muslim separatist leader to denounce Benedict. For the third day running, people burned tires and shouted "down with the pope."
Protests also raged in Iraq, where angry demonstrators burned an effigy of the pope in Basra, and in Indonesia, where more than 100 people rallied in front of the heavily guarded Vatican Embassy in Jakarta, waving banners that said the "Pope is building religion on hatred."