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Al Qaeda member vows revenge

A top Al Qaeda member has vowed revenge for the killing of Osama Bin Laden by US forces.The prominent...

A television frame grab taken 03/11/2001 from a videotape broadcast by Al-Jazeera satellite TV, shows terror suspect Saudi born Osama bin Laden. Picture: AFP

A top Al Qaeda member has vowed revenge for the killing of Osama Bin Laden by US forces.

The prominent commentator, going by the online name "Assad al-Jihad2," has posted comments on several websites in a long eulogy for bin Laden. He added that the Islamic holy war against the West was far from over.

Militant websites with links to Al Qaida regularly post long interviews with al-Jihad2.

TALIBAN THREATS

Earlier on Monday, the Taliban threatened attacks against the United States and Pakistani leaders, including President Asif Ali Zardari, following the death of bin Laden.

A Taliban spokesperson told Reuters that the Pakistani government will be first on their hit-list followed by America.

US REACTION

United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday said people must realise that the battle to beat Al Qaeda will not end with Osama bin Laden’s death.

The Al Qaeda leader was shot dead on Sunday evening by a US Navy Seals team, who attacked his compound about 100 kilometers outside of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

Clinton had a stern warning for the Taliban.

“Our message to the Taliban remains the same,” she said. “You cannot wait us out, you cannot defeat us, but you can make the choice to abandon Al Qaeda and participate in a peaceful political process.”

She said the US has initiated an Afghan-led political concept to stop insurgency, while also creating a worldwide anti-terror network.

“Even as we mark this milestone, we should not forget that the battle to stop Al Qaeda and its syndicate of terror, will not end with the death of Bin Laden,” added Clinton.

GLOBAL REACTION

The ANC said it hopes that bin Laden’s killing will help contribute towards global peace.

“We hope that his death will greatly contribute towards a peaceful transition in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan – countries that have seen high levels of conflict,” said the ANC’s Brian Sokutu.

Arab leaders have mostly welcomed the news of bin Laden’s death.

But Palestinian Islamist group Hamas condemned the US-led raid. It has called Bin Laden an Arab "holy warrior".

Hamas in the Gaza strip said it regards this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood.

In Israel, President Shimon Peres said bin Laden was the biggest murderer in history. He said the world can breathe a sigh of relief at seeing him get the punishment he deserves.

Jerusalem has long accused Al Qaeda of building terrorist cells in the occupied parts of the West Bank and Gaza strip.

Meanwhile, the world’s most powerful nations have praised America for killing Bin Laden but have warned of an increased threat of terrorist attacks in coming months.

Germany, Russia, France and England have all described the death as a victory while the European Union said the world was now a safer place.

The man who launched the Afghanistan war in 2001, former US President George W Bush said the killing sends a clear message that no matter how long it takes, justice will be done.

CELEBRATIONS

Meanwhile, millions of Americans celebrated the death of Bin Laden on Monday. His death ends a decade-long manhunt for the mastermind of the September 11 2001 attacks.

Families and friends of the 911 victims joined thousands of others in massive celebrations outside the White House in Washington DC, at Times Square and Ground Zero in New York.

Journalist Diana Neille in New York said the celebrations continued overnight.

“You could really hear celebrations on the streets, people honking horns [and] screaming out on the streets,” she said. “Within literally half an hour Times Square and Ground Zero was just flooded with people.

Everyone with their American flags, a lot of joy, a lot of happiness about it and it just escalated throughout the evening.

In London, the 911 memorial was quiet as people enjoy their bank holiday. The words “grief is the price we pay for love” could be seen on the memorial at Grosvenor Square.

Two fresh bouquets of flowers could be seen at the foot of the memorial.

One couple from Chicago said they welcomed the news of Osama bin Laden’s death and that it provided some closure. But they were not sure if his death will bring an end to the threat of terror.

Some Londoners enjoying the afternoon sun said they were not aware of the news and were not sure how it will impact the world.