Dead Soddy al-Qaeda leader threatens princes in video
THE leader of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, who was killed in a raid last month, has delivered a chilling final video testament warning that his group will overthrow the Saudi royal family and threatening more attacks against the kingdom and Americans in the region.
The video, released yesterday, showed Fahd Faraaj al-Juwair shortly before setting off on a terrorist attack wearing a red T-shirt and what appears to be an explosive belt. As he read his will he was seated with a map of Saudi Arabia behind him, with the slogan "Expel the infidels from the Arabian Peninsula".
Addressing the Saudi royal family, al-Juwair said: "If you know what the youth are preparing for you, you will be busy to escape this peninsula."
In the video, sent to the Associated Press news agency, he warned the Americans: "Get out of Muhammad's peninsula, get out of all Muslim lands, stop supporting the Jews in Palestine, halt supporting Christians in Muslim lands, or else you'll have nothing but killing, destruction and explosions."
Al-Juwair was reported killed by Saudi security forces along with four other leading militants in a February 27 raid in the capital, Riyadh, launched in the wake of an al-Qaeda attack on the Abqaiq complex, the largest oil processing facility in the world.
The e-mail accompanying the video confirmed his death, with the phrase "May God accept him as a martyr" and identified al-Juwair as the former head of al-Qaeda's branch in Saudi Arabia and as the supervisor of the attack on Abqaiq. The authenticity of the e-mail, signed by "The Voice of Jihad for Media Production" could not be independently confirmed.
In the video, al-Juwair addressed Saudi police who have been pursuing militants, urging them to join al-Qaeda's jihad, or holy war.
"What are you going to tell God when you kill a holy fighter in defence of the Americans or if you are killed while you are defending the despots?" he said. "Stop working for the oppressors and join the mujaheddin [holy warriors]."
He made similar appeals to Saudi's official clerics, and called on "the mujaheddin to remain steadfast and wait for God's promised victory".
"Our jihad is aimed at making God's word supreme, ridding Muhammad's peninsula of the infidels and implementing God's law in all aspects of life and all people," he said.
He ended by praising al-Qaeda's leader, Osama bin Laden, top of the US most wanted list with a $25m bounty on his head. Bin Laden is believed to be hiding in the mountainous border country between Pakistan and Afghanistan, communicating periodically with his followers by video.
Al-Qaeda militants have been involved in a campaign of violence in Saudi Arabia, Bin Laden's birthplace, since 2003. Saudi security forces have carried out a crackdown since, killing or capturing most of the group's leaders.
The February suicide bombing on Abqaiq was the first attack on Saudi Arabia's vital oil infrastructure. Bombers in two explosives-laden vehicles tried to ram through the facility's gates, but were stopped by guards who opened fire on them, detonating the vehicles.
However, some of the attackers escaped, including al-Juwair. He and two accomplices were shot dead three days later after being hunted down by Saudi forces.
The size of the Al-Qaeda structure in Saudi Arabia is unknown but pre-war Iraqi government documents released last week revealed that thousands of Saudis appeared to be willing to fight in Afghanistan after it was invaded following the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
One Iraqi intelligence document indicated Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen paramilitary forces were investigating claims in 2001 that as many as 3,000 Iraqis and Saudis had left the two countries to fight.
The translated document stated: "In the report... there is an entry that indicates that there is a group of Iraqi and Saudi Arabians numbering around 3,000 who have gone in an unofficial capacity to Afghanistan and have joined the mujaheddin to fight with and aid them in defeating the American Zionist Imperialist attack."
Posted by: Dan Darling 2006-03-19