An Internet audiotape purported to be from an al-Qaida commander who escaped from a US prison warns that this winter will be "hell" for international forces in Afghanistan.
The message from Abu Yahia al-Libi, who escaped from Afghanistan's Bagram prison in 2005, appeared Friday on an Islamic militant Web site. Its authenticity could not be verified, but it was posted on a Web site that carries militant statements.
Al-Libi, whose nom de guerre means "the Libyan" in Arabic, said he also had a message to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. In the seven-minute recording, he assures bin Laden that the mujahideen in Afghanistan have gotten stronger, praising fighters with poetry and calling them a "shining star in this dark age and a luminous moon in its dark sky."
The mujahideen, or Islamic fighters, in Afghanistan "are going through continuous triumphs ... and are in a better shape compared with what they had been before ... attacking the Christian and apostate enemies in their own bases with suicide operations and sudden attacks and wide sweeps and tight raids and intensive bombing," he said.
He said militants are "determined to turn the upcoming winter to hell for the infidels."
Al-Libi also appealed to religious scholars to offer guidance to fighters. "The mujahideen trust you ... and you might not know how much you have influence on them," he said.
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