Written By: Mohammed al-Dailami & Elena White
Article Date: Jun 12, 2012 - 9:59:02 PM
Al-Qaeda media official of in the Arabia Peninsula AQAP – Ansar al-Sharia - Hassan Abu Saleh said in a recent interview, “the American people should know that their government is squandering public money paying dishonest agents.”
AQAP threatened Saturday with transferring its battles against Yemen armed forces to Washington and New York.
It also described Yemeni Defense Minister, Mohammed Nasser Ahmed as a murderer and an American agent and proclaimed American Ambassador in Sana’a Gerald Feirestein was the real ruler of Yemen.
Abu Saleh told the United Press International Agency that the American people should be well aware that their government is fighting a war in which it is losing the money that it is paying to dishonest agents.
He added, “The American people are in danger, because when our children and women are killed, it is our right to take the battle to New York Washington and Detroit, the American people should be aware of this.”
In response to the rightfulness of targeting civilians, al-Qaeda leader said that since civilians paid taxes to their government and hence support the Jews in Palestine, as well as the killing of Muslim children and women in Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen, al-Qaeda would consider them guilty accomplices.
Abu Saleh said his “vision” was in line with all Muslims’ legitimate right to defend his nation, religion and loved ones. “Our message is clear to the western nations and the American people in particular.
Stop killing our people and stay away from our land. What will it take to make America understand?” However, Abu Saleh added: “If you’re talking about Yemen, it is said that we are targeting civilians? Well, only if Central Security soldiers trained by Americans are considered civilians.
You must re-consider the nature of the battle in Yemen.” Abu Saleh, al-Qaeda leader went on saying “Sacrifices should be paid in our nation’s holy war against America and its agents. It is the price of victory.”
When asked about the impact that American and Yemeni airstrikes had on his organization, Abu Saleh deflected the question, saying that rather than focusing on the impact it had on al-Qaeda, one should ponder over the effects it had on the U.S. army itself.
He added that despite the government’s claims that al-Qaeda in Yemen was widely unpopular with the population Abu Saleh argued it was quite the opposite. “People believe in our cause, they understand we are fighting for our children’s future and most importantly for our religion. More fighters are joining us, not less.”
“When a militant is killed another ten come in his place. It seems that the Americans didn’t learn from their experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
In a response to previous al-Qaeda statements saying that it is not only the American planes that are attacking their sites, but that there are supports from the Yemen and Saudi air forces, Abu Saleh said, “America and its allies are fighting us. T
hey think that we don’t know the details and nature of the battle. ” He disclosed the potentials of the organization saying, “we possess Intelligence and military facilities that, by God’s will, humiliated America a decade ago.
The enemy should be prepared when they trying to mislead the public opinion as they are fighting on our turf.” American air strikes against the group killed scores of al-Qaeda leaders over the past year, amongst who numbers Anwar al-Awlaki.
Regarding the media announcement about the defeats that al-Qaeda met in previous days in Abyan and other governorates, the al-Qaeda media official said it was not true, claiming its militants were gaining ground against the army.
Al-Qaeda’s presence is concentrated in Abyan Governorate. It is found in minor sizes in other governorates, like Hadramout, Marib, Shabwa and al-Baidha, with sleeping cells in several Yemeni governorates, including Sana’a. Regarding the threat made by al-Qaeda leader Jalal Bale’edi to transfer the battle to Sana’a, Abu Saleh said that, “taking the battles to Sana’a, Riyadh or Aden, is an easy matter and a natural maneuver to those who know how wars are run.” He pointed out that,
“What the Americans should be aware of, and pay millions of dollars for, is their internal American security. They should monitor their flights and cargo shipments.
They should tighten measures on the public places, trains and everything. This is what Obama should take care of, instead of trying to convince the American people that he is winning the battle in Abyan and Shabwa.
“ In a reply to the targeting of al-Qaeda to the American Defense Secretary, and whether it is a personal enmity, he said, “Ask the black Americans about racism and personal enmity. Why do we target the Yemeni Defense Minister? We say that we are bigger than that and we have a battle that is greater than his shaky personality.
To us he is just an agent and an American mercenary killing his own people, and he should be killed in return. It is obvious.”
The Yemeni Defense Minister escaped yet another assassination attempt last week when a suicide bomber targeted his car convoy in Lauder, Abyan province. In response to how he could justify the killing of hundreds of Yemeni soldiers Abu Saleh answered furiously,
“How can the American ambassador justify the crimes of the Central Security soldiers which didn’t stop against the Yemeni people? Could he find justifications? Americans train them and supply them with tear bombs.”
If anything is to be deducted from this interview is that al-Qaeda ideology is still very much alive.
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