- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Two al Qaeda branches have new, threatening messages to supporters praising lone-wolf jihadist attacks in the U.S. and calling for more of them.

“We urge you to strike America down in its own home and beyond,” says a letter attributed to Ibrahim al-Asiri, the master bomb-maker with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, CNN reported Wednesday.

It is unclear whether Mr. Asiri himself, who is thought to have taken over the terror group’s Yemeni branch, actually wrote the letter.

A U.S. counterterrorism official described the letter as “consistent with rhetoric the new leader stated upon taking over al Qaeda’s most active affiliate that is known to threaten Western interests.”

If the letter is genuine, it would indicate that Mr. Asiri, who rarely makes public statements and is considered one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, is still alive.

“He’s without question the most dangerous terrorist operative that the United States faces today,” said CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank. “Intelligence suggests that he is developing a new generation of explosive devices including a new generation of underwear and shoe-bomb devices.”

In a new video released Tuesday al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Abu al-Miqdad al-Kindi, also known as Khalid bin Umar Batarfi, applauded attackers like Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, who opened fire on two military recruiting facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last month, killing five service members.

In the video, posted by SITE Intelligence group, Mr. al-Kindi, who was freed from a Yemeni prison in April, condemned “America, France and other kufr (disbeliever) nations” that “assist and make legislations to protect those who abuse Islam and the Prophets.”

He added “as you put limits to freedom of expression and punish whomever goes against them, it is upon us to punish whoever transgresses out boundaries and sanctities.”

He also praised the gunmen who opened fire on police in Garland, Texas, during a Muhammad cartoon contest.

“And our words cannot give justice to their sacrifice and heroism, of which the later [operations], was the killing of many among those who insult Islam and the honorable Prophet. In the Indian sub-continent and the targeting of an offensive drawings exhibition in Texas, supported and protected by the American government,” Mr. al-Kindi said, according to SITE.

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