Al-Qaeda off-shoot in Yemen threatens US
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An Al-Qaeda off-shoot in Yemen has warned the United States of a bloodier jihadist struggle to come following Osama bin Laden’s killing by US commandos on 2 May.
The warning from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula came as US Senator John Kerry announced a trip to Pakistan to build bridges with Pakistani officials after bin Laden was gunned down on their territory.
Pakistan witnessed the first possible violent reaction to bin Laden's death on Wednesday as drive-by attackers threw grenades at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Karachi.
AQAP leader Nasir al-Wahishi said in a statement posted on an Islamist website that the "ember of jihad (holy war) is brighter" following the killing of bin Laden, according to the SITE monitoring group.
The Yemen-based fugitive warned Americans not to fool themselves that the "matter will be over" with the killing of bin Laden, the Saudi-born architect of the 11 September 2001 attacks.
"Do not think of the battle superficially... What is coming is greater and worse, and what is awaiting you is more intense and harmful," Wahishi said, according to a SITE translation.
"We promise Allah that we will remain firm in the covenant and that we will continue the march, and that the death of the sheikh will only increase our persistence to fight the Jews and the Americans in order to take revenge".
The threat of Islamist militancy from inside Yemen, the homeland of bin Laden's father, is acknowledged by the United States which has warned of the potential for the country to become Al-Qaeda’s new headquarters.
AQAP was born of a January 2009 merger between the Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches. It claimed a failed attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound US airliner in December 2009 and was accused in October of sending parcel bombs addressed to US synagogues that were disguised inside computer printers.
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