Al-Qaida: Britain, U.S. face attacks over Gaza
New video calls for reprisals in West after Israel's 'annihilation campaign'
msnbc.com news services
updated 8:30 a.m. ET, Thurs., Jan. 22, 2009
DUBAI - A prominent al-Qaida figure has called for attacks in Western countries in retaliation for Israel's offensive in Gaza, arguing that Britain was behind the creation of the Jewish state.
"It's high time that this criminal country, I mean Britain, paid the price of its historic crime," Abu Yahya al-Libi said in a video posted on an Islamist Web site.
"There is no child who dies in Palestine ... without this being the outcome of the (country) that handed Palestine to the Jews ... Britain."
Al-Libi is one of the top leaders of al-Qaida believed to be hiding in the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Al-Libi told British people to expect reprisals for the Israeli "annihilation campaign" in Gaza.
"We are not fooled by the policies of courtesy. A wolf is a wolf even dressed as lamb," he said in an apparent reference to demonstrations in Western countries calling for an end to the three-week Israeli offensive.
In the 31-minute video, al-Libi also repeated calls for attacks on other Western countries including the United States.
"Make them taste the bitterness of war and the tragedies of homelessness and the misery of horror," he said in a call to militant fighters. "They should not be secure while our people (Palestinians) are scared.
"O, mujahideen (holy strugglers) everywhere rise like an angered lion ... do what you can to make the infidel capitals of the West and America and the Arab Tyrants taste what our brothers and weak folks in Palestine have been tasting."
Al-Libi praised a three-day rampage in Mumbai, India in November in which 183 people were killed by suspected Islamists who he called "heroes" and urged similar acts of retaliation.
Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden earlier this month called on Muslims to rise in a holy struggle against the Israeli offensive in Gaza and accused Arab leaders of collusion with Israel.
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Meanwhile, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi urged President Barack Obama to give Osama bin Laden a chance to make peace.
Gadhafi, who is known for outspoken comments, told an audience of Georgetown University students by videoconference Wednesday that bin Laden has shown signs that he is open to dialogue. He recommended that Obama seek an opening with the terrorist leader who is considered enemy number one in the United States for ordering the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
"I think Osama bin Laden is a person who can be given a chance," he said in Arabic through an interpreter. "Maybe he wants peace."
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