Rabat (Morocco): The chief of al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch Abu Musab Abdul-Wadud has said the killing of Osama bin Laden will only invoke anger against the West.

The 10 minute audio message posted on Thursday  on jihadist forums is the latest defiant statement from the extremist organization’s many affiliates as they assert that the battle against what they perceive as the West’s oppression of Muslims is far from over, despite the death of al-Qaeda’s founder.

“Today is not a day of crying, although the likes of him are worthy of tears, but it is a day to reaffirm the allegiance and the covenant with God the Almighty; a day to pledge retaliation and to insist on victory,” said Abu Musab Abdul-Wadud, a pseudonym for Abelmalek Droukdel, who heads al-Qaeda’s North Africa affiliate.

“We are all Osama,” he added, in a translation provided by the US-based SITE Monitoring Service that specializes in jihadist online forums.

Al-Qaeda in North Africa grew out of a militant faction left over from Algeria’s civil war in the 1990s that joined bin Laden’s network in 2006. The group has killed several hundred people over the past few years and has stepped up attacks in Algeria’s eastern highlands.

It has also kidnapped a number of foreigners across the vast expanses of the Sahara Desert and been implicated in terrorist incidents in Europe.

(Agencies)