Tags: Supposed | Qaida | Warning | New | Letter

Supposed al Qaida Warning in New Letter

Sunday, 17 November 2002 12:00 AM

The 9-page document was received by al-Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda, who told CNN that he believes the letter to be from al Qaida, a network of cells linked to several terrorist acts, including the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Fouda said he received the letter "through previously tested channels."

Several al Qaida communications have been received by al-Jazeera, a satellite television network based in Qatar.

The letter seems to shift al Qaida emphasis to having the United States withhold support for Israel in its struggles with the Palestinians. Previously, CNN reported Sunday, al Qaida focused its demands on the removal of the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia.

The document also mentioned Chechnya, where Russian forces have fought Muslim secessionists; the Kashmir area on the border of India and Pakistan where some residents want to establish an Islamic state; the Philippines, which also has an active Islamic separatist movement; and Iraq, which will soon be visited by weapons inspectors acting on a U.S.-introduced U.N. Security Council resolution after having been under economic sanctions for not adhering to previous resolutions.

Fouda said the letter demands the United States "stop your support for Israel against the Palestinians, for Russians against the Chechens and leave us alone, or expected us in Washington and New York."

"Do not force us to ship you in coffins," CNN said the letter reads,

"You are placing Muslims under siege in Iraq where children die every day," The letter reads. "Oh how weird that you don't care for 1.5 million Iraqi children who died under siege but when 3,000 of your compatriots died, the whole world was shaken."

That comment is apparently a reference to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in which four U.S. jetliners were hijacked. U.S. officials said the hijackings were carried out by 19 men, all with Islamic names. Two of the jets were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York, a third was smashed into the Pentagon and the fourth crashed in western Pennsylvania apparently when passengers tried to take back control of the craft. Some 3,000 people died in the attacks.

Fouda told CNN: "They are posing two questions in their words and I quote: 'Why are we in jihad and why are we resisting you?' and secondly, 'To what are we inviting you and what do we want from you?'"

Al-Jazeera last week broadcast an audio tape purportedly of Osama bin Laden, who is believed to be the main financier of al Qaida. That tape referred to several recent attacks against western interests and the Chechen takeover of a Moscow theater. Many officials said they believe the voice is that of bin Laden, last known to be in Afghanistan before the United State launched its assault on the Taliban rulers who had given bin Laden refuge in the country.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The 9-page document was received by al-Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda, who told CNN that he believes the letter to be from al Qaida, a network of cells linked to several terrorist acts, including the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Fouda said he received the...
Supposed,Qaida,Warning,New,Letter
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2002-00-17
Sunday, 17 November 2002 12:00 AM
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