A leader of the al Qaeda offshoot that U.S. officials have called the greatest threat to the U.S. vowed in a message posted on Islamist websites Wednesday to take revenge against the U.S. for the death of Osama bin Laden, saying that jihad would only intensify and that Americans would come to "wish for the days of Osama."
"Do not dismiss this battle so easily, and give your people false hope that if you kill Osama that it is over," promised Nasir al-Wahishi, a leader of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). "What is waiting for you is far greater and more dangerous, and you will then count your regrets, wishing for the days of Osama."
Wahishi said the U.S. made a "big mistake" by killing bin Laden. "For those who celebrated the killing of our sheikh," says the statement, "we tell them: We will see if you celebrate what the sons and students of the sheikh will send you."
A threat against the U.S. was also leveled by U.S.-born Omar Hammami, also known as Abu Mansur al-Amriki or The American, who speaks for the Somali branch of al Qaeda, Al Shabaab.
"We are sending a message to [U.S. President Barack] Obama and [Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton that we will avenge the death of our leader Sheikh Osama bin Laden very soon," Hamami said during a Shabaab meeting in Afgoye town west of the capital Mogadishu, according to a report by the Agence France Presse. Hammami did not say when or how Al Shabaab planned to act.
Hammami, who was raised in Alabama, was believed to have been killed this spring in fighting in Somalia, but then released the latest of several pro-jihadi rap songs.