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902Second Islamic Group Claims London Bombs

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  • Greg Cannon
    Jul 9, 2005
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      http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-bombings-new-claim,0,1548086.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines

      Second Islamic Group Claims London Bombs

      By SALAH NASRAWI
      Associated Press Writer

      July 9, 2005, 10:04 AM EDT

      CAIRO, Egypt -- An Islamic Web site posted a statement
      purporting to be from an al-Qaida-linked group
      Saturday in which it claimed responsibility for the
      bombings that killed at least 49 people in London and
      promised more attacks in the city it described as the
      "capital of the infidels."

      The claim purportedly from the Abu Hafs al Masri
      Brigade was logged on an Islamic Web site where
      similar claims for responsibility have appeared in the
      past. The statement's authenticity could not be
      verified.

      Experts say the group has no proven history of attacks
      and said it had claimed responsibility for events in
      which it was unlikely to have played any role, such as
      the 2003 blackouts in the United States and London
      that resulted from technical problems. In recent
      months it has also made threats that its operatives
      would strike in Europe if countries there did not
      withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

      "Our words have not gone with the wind and our strikes
      have not stopped. Thanks to God, a group of Mujahedeen
      from the Abu Hafs al Masri Brigades launched strike
      after strike in the capital of the Kufr, the
      infidels," the statement said.

      "Blessed is this conquest. The coming days will show a
      greater expression of jihad (holy war) against those
      who declared war against Islam and Muslims," it said.
      "We will not keep quiet or stay idle until Islam is
      safe in the lands of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine."

      The statement was posted on a Web site run by Mohammad
      al-Masaari, a well known Saudi Islamic activist living
      in exile in London.

      Another group, calling itself The Secret Organization
      of al-Qaida in Europe issued a claim of responsibility
      for the London attacks on Thursday, hours after the
      blasts ripped through the London underground and one
      bus.

      Mideast experts on radical Islamic groups also took
      issue with the group's authenticity, saying the
      language it used was not "Islamic."

      The group's statement opened with an address to "the
      Nation of Islam and the Nation of Arabism to rejoice
      for vengeance over the Zionist Crusader government of
      Britain."

      The authenticity of the first claim was disputed by
      Islamic expert Mishari al-Thaidi in an essay published
      Saturday in the London-based Asharq Al Awsat
      newspaper.

      "What strikes attention here is addressing the Arab
      nation. The Jihadists have never recognized Arab
      nationalism," al-Thaidi said. "This is close to
      pan-Arab or Baathist terminology."

      Others say the reference might be have been a
      deliberate attempt to mislead British and European
      counterterrorism teams by suggesting Arabs and not
      Muslims of other nationalities were behind the
      attacks.

      Both groups claim to have been behind the bombs on
      commuter trains in Madrid in March 2004 which killed
      191 people.

      The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades are named for the alias
      of Mohammed Atef, Osama bin Laden's top deputy who was
      killed in a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan in November
      2001.

      On April 15 last year bin Laden warned that al-Qaida
      would hit in Europe if the European nations did not
      withdraw from Iraq. He offered a three month "truce"
      to European countries in a tape broadcast on Arab
      satellite networks.