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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Qaeda-linked group vows "bloody war" in Europe

July 28, 2004
Muslim militants claiming links to al Qaeda have vowed to launch a "bloody war" on Europe and say Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is its first target.

In a statement posted on an Islamic website, Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades made the threats after a "truce" offered by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden expired earlier this month.

"Today, we have declared a bloody war on you and we will not stop raids against you until you return to the correct path," said the statement, which called on European countries to pull out of Iraq and quit their alliances with the United States.

"After the truce determined by our sheik Osama bin Laden ended, and after you have not returned to the correct path, we declare a war in your faces and in the face of your silent people whose silence proves their support to you," it added.

The group warned it would start by attacking Berlusconi.

"We will shake the cities of Europe and we will start with you Berlusconi and we will make it bloody until you return to the correct path. Wait for us Berlusconi and your other allies as well, wait for our promise which we have revealed to you and are now revealing to Europe."

Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades warned on Monday of an attack in Italy if Berlusconi did not withdraw Italian troops from Iraq. Earlier this month the same group threatened a "bloodbath like September 11" if Berlusconi remained in power.

"Leaders and peoples of Europe withdraw your killer missions from Iraq and follow the way taken by others before you taste the bitterness of blood," said the new statement, the authenticity of which could not be immediately verified. FR Reprint.

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