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Al-Qaeda Makes New Threats

12 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The Al-Qaeda terrorist network has used the fourth anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks on America to issue a series of new threats against Western countries and U.S.-led forces in Iraq.

In a videotape sent to a U.S. television network and broadcast on 11 September, a suspected American-born Al-Qaeda member threatened attacks against Los Angeles, California, and the Australian city of Melbourne. U.S. authorities are trying to verify the authenticity of the tape.

In a statement posted on an Islamic website, the European branch of Al-Qaeda vowed to avenge the killing and torture of Muslims around the world. The authenticity of the statement could not be confirmed.

And in an audiotape posted on a website, a speaker sounding like the Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, accused U.S. and Iraqi forces of using toxic gas in an offensive against insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar. The speaker said U.S.-led forces would inevitably face defeat.