In an internet message posted on May 6, the terror outfit acknowledged the death of Osama bin Laden and has vowed to keep fighting the US . It has also sworn on avenging the killing of Laden.
The al-Qaeda statement, entitled "You lived as a good man, you died as a martyr," hasn't named a successor to Osama but it is widely believed that Ayman al-Zawahri, now the most prominent figure in the group is likely candidate to take his place.
The statement read, "The blood of the holy warrior sheik, Osama bin Laden, God bless him, is too precious to us and to all Muslims to go in vain...We will remain, God willing, a curse chasing the Americans and their agents, following them outside and inside their countries."
It added, "Soon, God willing, their happiness will turn to sadness...their blood will be mingled with their tears."
Assuring that al-Qaeda will continue to exist even after Laden's death, the statement said, "Sheik Osama didn't build an organization to die when he dies...The university of faith, Quran and jihad from which bin Laden graduated will not close its doors...The soldiers of Islam will continue in groups and united, plotting and planning without getting bored, tired, with determination, without giving up until striking a blow."
The statement writers, it seems were unaware of the Sea-burial given to Osama's body and has thus warned against mishandling or mistreating bin Laden's body and demanded that it be handed over to his family, saying "any harm (to the body) will open more doors of evil, and there will be no one to blame but yourselves."
While the authenticity of the statement hasn't been confirmed, the US on its part has chosen to tread cautiously. Jay Carney, White House press secretary said that US officials are aware of the statement and the threat.
Carney Said, "What it does obviously is acknowledge the obvious, which is that Osama bin Laden was killed...We're quite aware of the potential for (terrorist) activity and are highly vigilant on that matter for that reason."