The al-Qaeda chief of Yemen has warned the U.S. and the West that the killing of Osama bin Laden will intensify the jihad (holy war) by the terrorist organization, according to SITE monitoring group

Nasir al-Wahishi, head of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said in a statement that appeared on an Islamist website that the ember of jihad is brighter after the death of bin Laden in a compound in northern Pakistan.

The Unites States made a big mistake when it killed Sheikh Osama bin Laden, al-Wahishi said, adding that his group will take intensive and harmful revenge on the interests of the United States and its allies who celebrated the death of bin Laden, including the Yemeni and Saudi governments.

He added: We warned Americans not to fool themselves that the game will be over with the killing of bin Laden. Do not think of the battle superficially. What is coming is greater and worse, and what is awaiting you is more intense and harmful. 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 [bin Laden] will only increase our persistence to fight the Jews and the Americans in order to take revenge.”

Wahishi praised bin Laden and declared he was killed while his hand was on the trigger, fighting the enemies of Allah without tiring or surrendering. He was killed while remaining firm and not changing or altering, as he continues according to the covenant of the believers.

He also assured that al-Qaeda will persist as a powerful organization.

Let the enemies of Allah know that we are determined to take revenge, he added.

A Palestinian affiliate of Al-Qaeda, the Abdullah Azzam Brigade, has made similar threats, SITE indicated.

We vow to Allah to continue the fight. The death of Sheik [bin Laden] only strengthens our resolve to fight Jews and Americans to avenge the martyrs of the Islamic nation, their statement said.

Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian who lived in Jordan, was bin Laden’s mentor before he died in a bombing in Afghanistan in 1989.
Yemen, which has been in a swirl of political chaos for months over demonstrations against the ruling regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, has an active branch of al Qaeda.

Saleh has himself used the fear of Islamic terrorist groups taking over Yemen as a way to assert his own authority in the country.

The U.S. shares those concerns.

Indeed, just a few days after bin Laden’s killing, a US drone missile targeted Anwar al-Awlaqi, another prominent al-Qaeda figure, in southern Yemen. Awlaqi survived the strike, but two of his associates were killed.