DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda issued new threats against Denmark in an Internet video released on Friday, saying an attack on the Danish embassy in Pakistan was the start of its retaliation for perceived insults to the Prophet Mohammad.
The Internet video featured senior al Qaeda leader Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, who was reported to have been killed last month. The compilation was dated August 2008, although it was made up of segments recorded at various dates.
The video profiled a suicide bomber who it said carried out the June 2 attack on the Danish embassy in Islamabad, which killed six people, in response to the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad by Danish newspapers.
The cartoons sparked riots in the Muslim world in 2006 after originally being printed in a Danish newspaper in 2005. One, reprinted in a Danish newspaper earlier this year, depicted the Prophet Mohammad wearing a bomb in his turban.
“We have warned previously, and we warn once more, the Crusader states which insult, mock and defame our Prophet and the Koran in their media and occupy our lands, steal our treasure and kill our brothers that we will exact revenge at the appropriate time and place,” said Abu al-Yazid.
“The Danish embassy and prior operations is but the beginning ... if you don’t end your errant ways and aggression,” the Egyptian militant leader said in the video posted on Islamist websites.
The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) said it believed the video to be authentic and that it strengthened its conclusion that al Qaeda was behind the Islamabad attack.
A senior Pakistani security official said on August 12 that Abu al-Yazid, also known as Abu Saeed al-Masri, was killed in clashes with Pakistani forces near the Afghan border.
The 54-minute video, entitled “The Word is the Word of the Swords” and styled as a documentary about attacks against Islam by Western “Crusader” nations and by corrupt Muslim leaders, was issued by al Qaeda’s media arm As-Sahab.
“My final message to the worshippers of the cross in Denmark is that, God permitting, this is not the first nor the last act of revenge,” the young suicide bomber said as he stood next to a small car presumably used in the attack.
“Sheikh Osama bin Laden and the mujahideen will not leave you alone,” said the young man, identified as a Saudi militant.
The PET said the video confirmed its own investigation into the attack.
“The PET has obtained information that established the perpetrator’s identity,” it said. “The person is the same as the one singled out in the video as the suicide bomber.”
The PET added that it continued to work with foreign authorities to identify others involved in the embassy attack.
Earlier this year it warned al Qaeda had a strong desire to carry out an attack in Denmark and that young Danes have been training at camps on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan alongside German and British recruits.
The video showed militants preparing explosives to pack the car and said the group decided to attack the embassy when it was closed to the public to avoid killing civilians.
Abu al-Yazid, commander of al Qaeda’s operations in Afghanistan, had served time in jail with al Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981.
Additional reporting by Gelu Sulugiuc in Copenhagen; Editing by Janet Lawrence