Website statement claims al-Qaeda link to UN bombing


A statement posted on the Internet in the name of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network has claimed responsibility for an attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad last week which killed 23 people, including the head of mission.

It was posted in Arabic late last night on the discussion Web site and dated August 19th, the day of the attack on the UN headquarters.

The statement's authenticity could not be verified. On Thursday, an Arabic television channel reported a previously unknown Iraqi group had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Written in heavily symbolic and oblique language, the latest statement was signed by Brigades of Abu Hafs al-Masri and followed by the words al Qaeda in parentheses.

It referred to a previous warning issued on August 15th in which it said it would "exhaust and confuse" America and its "henchmen".

"We meant that we would carry out such a lethal and surprising attack that the enemy will not know where, when and how we will strike," the statement said.

"So why the United Nations? Number one, the UN (is against Islam), it is a branch of the American State Department and it wears the robes of an international organisation.

"The double standard policies of the United Nations are against Arabs and Muslims. This issue does not need to be proved. It is clear like the light of the sun at midday," the statement said.

The statement called UN envoy to Iraq, Brazilian Sergio Vieira de Mello, "America's number one man".