Al-Qaeda threatened to avenge the killing by US forces last week of the terror network's chief in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in an internet message addressed to the Islamic world.
"God has preserved the patient leaders, such as Sheikh Osama bin Laden and Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri (bin Laden's number two) and their
"The death of Sheikh Abu Musab is but one more (cause of) indignation that the hands of treason have added to the list of indignations, which inspires the heroes of Islam in their fierce battle against the forces of apostasy," said the statement, signed by Al-Qaeda of Jihad in Afghanistan.
The statement appeared on the website routinely used by Al-Qaeda but could not be independently verified.
It expressed the group's condolences to the "Islamic nation" for the loss of "a lion of Islam and a pillar of jihad (holy war)," and promised "trouble for the enemies of Allah."
Al-Zarqawi was killed on June 7 in a US air raid on a safe house north of Baghdad.