Senior Official Of Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Ibrahim Al-Qousi Threatens U.S. With Attacks More Painful, Powerful Than 9/11

October 6, 2021

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On October 6, 2021, Al-Malahem, the media arm of the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released[1] a video featuring its senior official, Sudanese national and former Guantanamo detainee Ibrahim Al-Qousi, aka Khubayb Al-Sudani, who congratulated the Taliban for taking over Afghanistan and threatened the U.S. with attacks more painful than 9/11.

In the video, titled "A Message To The American People: You Have Yet To Understand The Lesson," Al-Qusi commented on President Biden's August 31, 2021 speech following the departure of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, saying that "the greatest loss America suffered, besides its material and human losses, is its reputation and prestige as a superpower and the most powerful country in the world."

Congratulating The Taliban
Al-Qousi extended his congratulations to the Taliban's "Emir of the Believers Hibatullah Akhundzada," described the Taliban's victory as "magnificent," and praised Taliban fighters, saying that "they have understood the essence of this religion and the nature of the conflict … they are men whose hands – by the grace of Allah alone – buried a third empire in the soil of Afghanistan and restored the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to rule by the shari'a of Allah, even if America and its allies hate it."

Al-Qousi rejected President Biden's assessment that "the U.S. has succeeded and achieved the goals for which the war was launched, which is the killing of Osama bin Laden, and that Afghanistan, based on the commitments of the Taliban movement, will not be a base from which jihadi groups threaten the security of America and its allies."

Responding To President Biden's Speech
Questioning Biden's assessment, Al-Qousi asked: "Was it really worth America paying these heavy costs to achieve these two goals? Could America not have achieved these by any other way to avoid such significant losses?"

He also commented on President Biden's August 16 speech following the Taliban takeover of Kabul, saying that in that speech, "the whole world watched live as U.S. President Joe Biden recognized the defeat of America and its allies."

Commenting on Biden's statement that "we have learned the lesson the hard way after 20 years," he said: "Certainly, it was a precious lesson by all standards [...] However, if the lesson to which the U.S. president refers is simply that their entry into Afghanistan […] was a strategic mistake that led to their defeat […] then this means that they did not learn nor understand the lesson in all its aspects. If the Americans want to fully comprehend the lesson in all its aspects, in order to be safer, they should refer to the repeated speeches and messages of Sheikh Osama bin Laden that he addressed to the American people, specifically his speech on September 13, 2009 in which he said: 'O American people, my speech to you comes as a reminder of the causes of September 11, the war that followed, and the consequences that ensued, and the way to resolve them from their origin.'

"In particular, they mention the families of those impacted by those events, who recently called for an investigation to determine their causes, which is the first important step in the right direction among many steps that were deliberately not taken during the eight lean years that have elapsed. It is crucial for the entire American people to turn towards these steps, as the delay in your knowing these reasons will cost you a significant price for no large benefit.

"The White House administration, which is one of the two parties to this conflict, has told you in past years that the war is necessary to preserve your security. The wise are then concerned to listen to both sides of the conflict to learn the truth. So lend me your ears. First I say, we have made clear and stated many times over two and a half decades that the reason for our disagreement with you is your support for your Israeli allies occupying our land in Palestine. Your position on this, along with some other grievances, is what prompted us to implement the event of September 11. If you knew the extent of our suffering from the oppression of the Jews with the support of the administrations, you would have known that both of our nations are victims of the policies of the White House, which is in fact held hostage at the hands of pressure groups, especially major corporations and the Israel lobby [...]"

A Message To The American People
Addressing the American people, Al-Qousi then said: "Your security is still at risk as long as you do not comprehend the lesson and as long as you do not act to remove the reasons for which the September 11 events took place, as explained by bin Laden in his messages. O Americans, even if you eliminate the last man in Al-Qaeda [...] don’t think that you will enjoy peace and security as former U.S. President Bush had claimed. O Americans, your security is still at risk as long as you fight Islam and Muslims under different names, including counterterrorism."

Threatening the U.S., Al-Qousi said: "O Americans, let it be known to you that the mujahideen today are not limited to borders and that they can move from any part of the world to execute what they wish to deter your oppression. Every Muslim on the face of earth is in fact an enterprising mujahid."

Praising Previous Attacks On The Homeland
He concluded by praising Muhammad Al-Shamrani, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force and student naval flight officer who carried out attacks on the U.S. Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida on December 6, 2019,[2]and Maj Nidal Hasan, who carried out the November 5, 2009 shooting at the Fort Hood army base in Texas.[3]  He also threatened that future operations "will not be a carbon copy of the 9/11 attacks," stressing that they may be more powerful, painful, and heartbreaking: "O Americans, remember the famous oath of Sheikh Osama bin Laden in which he said: 'Neither America nor those who live in America will dream of security before we live it as reality in Palestine and before all the infidel armies leave the land of Muhammad [...]' and remember what he said in his message to the American people on 20th January 2006 [...] in which he said: 'As for the delay in similar operations in America, it is not due to the inability to penetrate your security measures; it is because the operations are being prepared and you will see them in your home as soon as they are finished […]' He also said: 'The days and nights will not pass until we take revenge, as we did on 11 September, Allah permitting.'"

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