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Taliban-Linked Radical Islamic Groups Threaten U.S.

Two radical, militant Islamic groups, the "Islamic International Front for Fighting Jews and Crusaders" and the "Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places," sent statements to London-based Arabic newsdaily. The statements promised that U.S. citizens and their allies would face repeated attacks "until American forces withdraw from the land of Muslims."

Osama bin Laden, a Saudi-born radical Islamic leader associated with the repressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan, was one of six signatories to the Front's first statement, issued in the form of a "fatwa" or religious edict this past February.

The Islamic International Front said that U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed to seek revenge for "the injustice meted out by the American government to all Muslim nations." The recent statement continued, "The coming days will, God willing, see that America meets a black fate ... There will be more attacks. More and more Islamic groups will appear will all fight against American interests."

One of the three statements sent by the Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places accused the Kenyan and Tanzanian governments of declaring war against Muslims by cooperating with the U.S. to "kill Muslims in neighboring countries and besiege their economies."

The Islamic International Front referred to the Islamic Army in its statement, without expressly stating that the two organizations are linked.

The State Department has recommended that humanitarian workers move out of Afghanistan and Pakistan, due to threats on international staff working at non-Muslim agencies there.

Media Resources: Washington Post and Reuters - August 19, 1998



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