South Asia

Excerpts from 'al-Qaeda' statement on Bin Laden's death

A statement attributed to al-Qaeda has acknowledged the death of its leader, Osama Bin Laden, at the hands of the Americans.

The statement, published on jihadist internet forums, vows to continue attacks on the US and its "agents" and says an audiotape recorded by Bin Laden shortly before his death would be released soon.

The communique - attributed to al-Qaeda's General Command - is dated 3 May. Here are some excerpts.

"On an historical day of the days of the great Islamic Ummah [community of Muslims worldwide]... the mujahid migrant ascetic leader - Sheikh Abu Abdullah Osama Bin Mohammed Bin Laden (may God bless his soul) has been killed in a moment of truthfulness, for he made his word truthful to his actions.

"Thus, he joined the magnificent procession of the Ummah that has been extended with the great leaders, loyal soldiers, and honourable knights.

"He refused to accept vice in exchange for his religion, or to submit and be humiliated by the misguided and the receivers of the wrath [of God], who have been stricken by disgrace and misery. The sheikh faced the weapon with weapon, force with force, and accepted to challenge the supercilious throngs that came out arrogantly and ostentatiously with their machinery, gear, aircrafts, and armies.

"Despite all this, his determination never wavered and his strength was never weakened; he instead stood up to them, face-to-face like a high mountain. He continued to fight the kind of battles that he was accustomed to... until he received the bullets of deception and non-belief to surrender his soul to its Creator...

"After a life full of efforts and diligence, courage and patience, incitement and jihad, generosity and charity, expatriation and travels, advice and good planning, wisdom and sophistication, the life of the sheikh came to an end during this specific era.

"His blood, words, attitudes, and his ending are to remain a soul running within the junctions of our Islamic Ummah generation after generation.

"If the Americans succeeded in killing Osama, that is no shame or disgrace. Are not men and heroes killed but on the battlefields? But can the Americans, with their media, agents, tools, soldiers, and apparatus kill what Sheikh Osama lived and died for?

"Alas! The sheikh did not found an organisation that lives with his life and dies with his death.

"Sheikh Osama Bin Laden, God bless him, was not a prophet sent during the 20th Century, but rather a Muslim man from this honourable Muslim Ummah.

"God raised his rank as he held high His religion. He cherished him as he cherished the religion; and through him, God frightened the totality of the unbelieving nations as [Osama] feared only the religion of God.

"If the light of Islam and jihad could be extinguished with the killing or death of someone, it would have been extinguished the day the master of the creation, Muhammad, peace be upon him, died and some Arabs committed apostasy.

Blood 'a curse'

"Based on this understanding, we in al-Qaeda vow to God the Exalted and seek His support to help us go forward on the path of jihad that was trekked by our leaders, headed by Sheikh Osama.

"We will not relent or hesitate; we will not stray or quit until God judges between us and our enemies by the truth, He indeed is the fairest of judges.

"We stress that Sheikh Osama's blood, God bless his soul, is more precious to us and to every Muslim to go in vain. It will, God willing, remain a curse that will chase and haunt the Americans and their agents inside and outside the country.

Image caption Bin Laden's compound was under the noses of Pakistan's military

"Very soon, God willing, their joy will turn into mourning and their blood will be mixed with their tears. We will fulfil Sheikh Osama's oath, God bless his soul: 'America and anyone who lives in America will not enjoy peace until our people in Palestine enjoy it.'

"The soldiers of Islam, whether in groups or individually, will not relent, despair, surrender, or weaken and will continue to plan until you are afflicted with a catastrophe that turns your children's hair grey prematurely.

"We call on our Muslim people in Pakistan where Sheikh Osama was killed to revolt and wash this shame brought upon them by a band of traitors and bandits who sold out to the Ummah's enemies and disparaged the sentiment of this noble, mujahid people.

"We call on them to revolt altogether to cleanse their country, Pakistan, of the American filth who spread mischief in the land.

"The sheikh refused to depart this life before sharing his Muslim Ummah its happiness with the revolutions against injustice and wrongdoers. He, may God bless his soul, recorded a message one week before he died, which included a congratulatory note, advice, and guidance that will soon, God willing, be disseminated.

"He concluded his message with these poetic verses: 'Telling the tyrant the truth is the honour and the hope. It is the path to this life and the path to the next. You can choose to die a slave or a freeborn.'

"We warn the Americans against any mishandling or improper treatment of the sheikh's corpse or anyone of his noble family whether dead or alive.

"The corpse should be handed over to their families. Otherwise, any mistreatment will open for you multiple doors of evil for which you can only blame yourselves. We call on all Muslims to carry out their duty to demand this right."