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Al Qaeda leader, former Gitmo detainee threatens attack on U.S. cities

A senior Al Qaeda leader and former Guantanamo detainee in Yemen has called for renewed attacks on the U.S. just days before Americans prepare to vote for a new president. “We pledge and vow to continue fighting America. Hitting, confronting and striking until it falls back behind the seas. None is upon us except by the will of Allah,” Ibrahim Al Qosi, a convicted Al Qaeda paymaster said in a speech entitled "15 years since the takeoff of the modern crusade." The Foreign Desk has obtained a transcript of Al Qosi's speech. Al Qosi advises followers to “concentrate your military expedition towards the crusaders and its apostate agents,” calling for renewed attacks against the U.S. while criticizing the Obama administration’s inaction in Syria that has allowed Russia and Iran to take a leading role in the conflict. Al Qosi, 54, also know as Sheikh Khubayb al Sudani, is a Sudanese citizen who was detained by the U.S. in Afghanistan in 2001 and served a short prison sentence after admitting support for Al Qaeda. He was transferred to Sudan in 2012 as part of a deal to rehabilitate former terror detainees, but in 2015, he resurfaced in Yemen reportedly as a leader with the Ansar al-Sharia terror group, more commonly known as Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). U.S. officials Friday alerted federal officials in New York, Texas and Virginia about an unspecified threat by Al Qaeda around Election Day, though a government source deemed the threat “relatively low-level.” Authorities have been told to remain vigilant, according to Reuters. It is unclear whether Al Qosi’s speech is connected to the latest threat. Al Qosi touts Al Qaeda's legitimacy and power as a terror organization, emphasizing that despite America’s best attempts to destroy the group, they have only grown stronger, expanding to many more locations in the 15 years since the U.S. went to war with Afghanistan. “Muslim youth and old” he claims, “are accepting jihad individually and in groups. Battalions are formed and brigades are prepared with fresh blood and enthusiasm.” He also accuses America of being a “bystander” in the Syria conflict arguing that the U.S. prevented a no-fly zone that could have saved the lives of women and children and failed to arm rebels fighting Assad out of fear that the weapons could fall into the wrong hands. Al Qosi's message extends beyond the U.S. with a stern warning for rival jihadis loyal to the Islamic State to turn away and to realign themselves with Al Qaeda: “O followers of the Baghdadi Group, time has come for you to return, repent, and retreat… It is time you realize that you need your ummah and that the ummah needs its every power to defend itself from aggressive enemies.” Al Qosi previously appeared in Al Qaeda videos as well as an interview with the terror group’s Inspire Magazine calling for so-called ‘lone wolf’ jihadi attacks against the U.S. In July, The Foreign Desk reported on a video showing recruits training at an indoor facility in Yemen with jihadis taunting the U.S. into military confrontation and vowing to fight to capture Palestine and the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.  
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