Unknown group says it bombed USS Cole

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Unknown group says it bombed USS Cole Friday, 13 October 2000 11:42 (ET)

Unknown group says it bombed USS Cole

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A hitherto unknown group, the Islamic Deterrent Forces, claimed responsibility Friday for the attack on the U.S. destroyer in Yemen that killed seven people and wounded more than 35 others.

The Islamic Deterrent Forces said a squad of the "Martyrs of Al Aqsa Intifada" launched "a surprise attack on the U.S. destroyer in Yemen" on Thursday to "defend the honor and dignity of the Islamic nation and to avenge the blood of the oppressed Muslim people in Palestine who are being slaughtered by the Zionist enemy with the support, backing and blessing of the U.S. regime."

The group said in a statement released in Beirut that it will give more details about the attack later and that "this would not be the first or last operation."

The statement said the group will continue the attacks against the United States and "its fabricated Zionist entity in Jerusalem," saying they are the "enemies of the Arab and Muslim nations."

"We will never stop our struggle against this American colonialism and its interests in the Arab and Muslim worlds," it said, "unless it (U.S.) stops its military, material, economic and political support of the Zionist entity; withdraws its military presence from the heart of our Arab and Islamic nations; stops its conspiracies on the Islamic countries and movements and stops its bombardement of the Iraqi people and lifts the siege on them."


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), October 13, 2000


Muslim radicals claim responsibility for Yemen bombings

Two different groups have claimed responsibility for the bomb attack on the destroyer USS Cole and the British embassy in Yemen.

A previously unknown group, identifying itself as the Islamic Deterrence Forces, claimed responsibility for the blast that killed seven sailors and left 10 missing.

"The group of the martyrs of the Intifada of the al-Aqsa mosque affiliated with the Islamic Deterrence Forces carried out a surprise attack against the American destroyer in Aden," the group said in the statement.

It said the operation was in "defence of the honour and dignity of the Islamic nation and to avenge the blood of the opressed Muslim nation in Palestine with the blessing of the American regime for that enemy."

The statement said "this operation will not be the last, as such attacks will continue against our enemy, and the enemy of our Arab and Muslim nation: America and its artificial Zionist entity in Palestine."

It said "our Jihad will never stop against this American colonialism and against its interests in our Arab and Islamic world."

However, radical Muslim group Mohammed's Army was to blame, according to exiled Muslim leader Sheikh Omar Bakri.

"They claimed they are going to take hostages and they claim they want to continue bombing all American and British embassies," he said.

The group identified itself as Mohammed's Army and the caller spoke to him in Arabic, said Sheikh Bakri, a member of a separate Muslim group called the "Sharia Court of the United Kingdom".

He said he had received a first call on Thursday from the group, about 30 minutes after the attack which caused the death of seven US sailors.

He said that he had received another call this morning shortly after the explosion at the British embassy in Yemen, in which there were no casualties.

The group also said it had carried out this attack, Sheikh Bakri said.

The group had called on Jews to leave Yemen and warned that Britons, Americans and Israelis would be targeted, he said.

Sheikh Bakri, who has been living in Britain for six years, said he condemned the presence of American and British forces in the area himself, and that may have been the reason why the group contacted him.


Britain's Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has condemned the attack on the British embassy in Sanaa, Yemen.

The blast occurred at 6:10am local time when the building was only occupied by a night watchman who was not injured, a foreign office spokesman said earlier.

Mr Cook, speaking in a later interview on BBC radio, said he understood a bomb had been thrown over the wall of the embassy.

"Unfortunately there has been a number of such incidents in that region over a period of time but there is no immediate reason to suggest that it (the blast) is directly related to the peace process" in the Middle East, he added.

Earlier the embassy had said it was not sure if it was a bomb and stressed it could have been a problem with their generator.

Investigations are currently underway.

United States suspicions fell on Osama bin Laden as investigations began into the deadly attack on American warship in Yemen.

A US official, who would not be named, said Osama bin Laden's organisation appeared was regarded as the group most likely to be capable of carrying out the attack.

Previously, the United States has accused Mr bin Laden of masterminding the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania two years ago that killed 224 people.

American forces overseas were placed on high alert following the warship explosion while US naval vessels were ordered to pull out of Middle East ports.

Mr Clinton left no doubt yesterday that he would strike a hard blow once a joint US-Yemeni investigation determined who attacked the USS Cole yesterday, killing and wounding dozens of sailors as it docked at the port of Aden.

"If, as it now appears, this was an act of terrorism, it was a despicable and cowardly act," the President said. "We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable."


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), October 13, 2000.

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