The US federal authorities' announcement early last week that raised the state of alert to a higher level, "orange color", in anticipation of terrorist attacks coincided with new assertions by al-Qa'ida organization that the zero hour for the anticipated attack inside US territories has been set.
Previous electronic messages from al-Qa'ida set the month of Shawwal (started on 25 November), or the period between Id al-Fitr and Id al-Adha, as the date for the strike that it has consistently threatened to carry out.
The latest electronic message from al-Qa'ida organization showed new assertions from the organization's leader of the imminent strike inside US territories and said he would appear later on in a televised speech to speak about this operation.
Abu-Muhammad al-Ablaj, an al-Qa'ida leader, said in his new message:
"I was talking with the brothers around the shaykh (Usama Bin Ladin) and they asked me to confirm that the strike would be between the two ids, that it would break the back, and would upset the balances."
He reiterated previous statements he had made: "Let them prepare from now for more sorrows and let them prepare the coffins and the largest number of hospitals and graves. The coming days are full of surprises and major events that will make them an historic example. We will teach them the painful lessons that they will never forget."
The organization's electronic message did not reveal the nature of the attack that they are intending to carry out or the type of weapons that they will use in it. But Al-Ablaj said that he would open the way for an expanded and detailed dialogue with one of this operation's leaders after the implementation. He hinted that the attack would consist of several qualitative and simultaneous strikes inside US territories and other countries he did not name. He said: "We will set them off soon."
The US authorities' deployment last week of specialized US military units to look for nuclear and biological weapons in addition to chemical ones in New York, which suffered severe damages on 11 September, and in other US cities reveals that there are real US fears that al-Qa'ida will resort to the use of non-conventional weapons in the anticipated attack inside US territories. This is consistent with the threats that al-Qa'ida officials had repeatedly made that the next strike would exceed in its scale the New York and Washington ones.
The US Depth
The al-Qa'ida organization persistently refused throughout the period that followed the 11 September bombings to deny or confirm its possession of weapons of mass destruction, though Al-Ablaj did not rule out in his previous messages to "Al-Majallah" his organization's resort to poisoning drinking water in one of the US cities and using the lethal Sarin gas against US crowds. Bin Ladin hinted in a meeting with a Pakistani correspondent at al-Qa'ida's possible possession of some nuclear briefcases from some of the former Soviet Union's republics.
Though the likely US targets are not known to the US security apparatuses, al-Qa'ida is in return refraining from talking about them or even giving any hints about them, justifying this by the impossibility of revealing such details for security reasons and for maintaining the secrecy of its plans. But it is stressing at the same time that its declaration before implementation of its intention to strike deep inside US territories again, as had happened with the September attacks which took the Americans before the world by surprise, falls within the context of the psychological war and, according to Al-Ablaj, is even part of the steps of their wars on what he called "the alliance of the world crusader-Zionist unbelief" so that al-Qa'ida would expose the failure of "this alliance."
Previous messages from Al-Ablaj showed preliminary features of hypothetical scenarios of the nature of the strike that the al-Qa'ida organization might carry out inside US territories through the following points that were contained in these messages:
--The operation will be qualitative and distinguished by lethal strikes in depth.
--The female suicide bombers are ready (Al-Ablaj's reference to the female suicide bombers in his previous messages coincided with a recent remark by a US security official that Chechen women were ready to carry out suicidal bombings inside New York city).
--The sinking of US battleships and the poisoning of US soldiers through what Al-Ablaj's asserted are al-Qa'ida elements inside the US Army and whom he described as ones with blue eyes. He pointed out that they are exactly like Na'im Bin-Mas'ud who hid his conversion to Islam.
--A strike on electricity is likely as part of al-Qa'ida's plans, according to the previous messages, to "paralyze" and stun the United States.
--The pinpointing of the earthquake fault line inside the United States and then causing explosions on it in several places and points.
--The targeting of areas inside the United States where there is strong volcanic action and activating them by humans so that the rocks "will slide" and the catastrophe will start.
--The poisoning of a drinking water plant that supplies an entire US city and using the lethal Sarin gas against US human crowds. He pointed out that some Japanese groups had resorted to this way easily.
--The strike to be carried out simultaneously with strikes against US and Western embassies in the world.
--There will be a strike in winter and one in summer.
--The use of what he called the booby-trapped death vehicles and also human bombs, which he said will move freely in the US cities streets.
--The existence of a list of US officials to be assassinated. "The suicide bombers' teams have arrived and the weapons, ammunition, explosives, and bombs caches are easy to reach."
One can deduce from al-Qa'ida's previous messages these scenarios and the nature of the attack it intends to carry out against the United States. It is gathered from Al-Ablaj's talk that Bin Ladin will appear on videotape after implementation of this operation and that the wagering inside al-Qa'ida is that the destruction that this operation will cause will far exceed the one caused by the 11 September attacks.
Bin Ladin will refer in his speech to the success of his followers in striking again deep inside the United States on such a scale and in return show the Americans' failure, locally and externally.
Al-Ablaj said: " As I have told you, his appearance this time will have this huge significance and scale. A messenger from him asserted this to me and I am now writing to you with only two persons to carry (messages) between him and me, in other words, from me to you from so and so from Abu-Abdallah."
He reiterated: "Dear brother. The days are coming nearer day after day and what is coming is more drastic and more harmful. This is what I can say now and I will provide an opportunity for conducting an expanded and detailed dialogue with one of the operation's leaders after the implementation."
Al-Ablaj admitted that al-Qa'ida's recent operations in Riyadh and Istanbul were just to waste the efforts of what he called "the giants of evil and unbelief in the United States."
He said: "We are benefiting from the situation that is prevailing in the region and our calculations for the fatal strike deep inside US territories is based on the continuity of this chaos and its intensification in the region."
He said he has a message from Bin Ladin to the US President to the effect that he should concentrate his efforts on fighting terrorism against his country as this is more useful and beneficial to him than wasting his efforts in the world, specifically as "they have what will hurt Bush inside his country."
Al-Ablaj concluded his message by swearing that the date of the strike has drawn nearer and that the world would see the scale of the destruction that would befall the United States. He said woe unto the West from a harm that has drawn near.
(Description of Source: London Al-Majallah in Arabic -- London-based Saudi-owned weekly; sister magazine of Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper providing independent coverage of Arab and international issues)toolkit.dialog.com/intranet/cgi/present?STYLE=739318018&PRESENT=DB=985,AN=182450E-mail this article