“Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader government of Britain in response to the massacres Britain committed in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said the statement, translated by The Associated Press in Cairo. The AP was unable to access the Web site where it was posted, which was closed quickly after the reports.
But MSNBC TV translator Jacob Keryakes, who said that a copy of the message was later posted on a secular Web site, noted that the claim of responsibility contained an error in one of the Quranic verses it cited. That suggests that the claim may be phony, he said.
“This is not something al-Qaida would do,” he said.
The group al-Qaida in Europe claimed responsibility for the last major terror attack in Europe: a string of bombs that hit commuter trains in Madrid, Spain in March 2004, killing 191 people. Two days after that attack, a video was found in a trash can outside a Madrid mosque with a statement purported to be from the group’s spokesman, called by the nickname “Abu Dujan al Afghani.”
In the new statement, the group said “the heroic mujahedeen carried out a blessed attack in London, and now Britain is burning with fear and terror, from north to south, east to west.”
“We warned the British government and the British people repeatedly. We have carried out our promise and carried out a military attack in Britain after great efforts by the heroic mujahedeen over a long period to ensure its success.”
“We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all crusader governments that they will receive the same punishment if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan,” the statement went on.
It was signed “The Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.