Al Qaeda in Iraq claims it was responsible for the attack on John Howard’s plane while he visited Iraq last week!
The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Iraq after the cabin began to fill with smoke and fumes shortly after takeoff.
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SITE Institute reports this from a tape released on Fraiday March 23, 2007:
The Islamic State of Iraq issued a communiqué today, Friday, March 23, 2007, claiming responsibility for launching an attack on the aircraft carrying the “Crusader” Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, last week in Iraq. The group gives the date of the attack as Sunday, March 18, 2007, and states that the forced landing of the plane was due to their “air defense” weapon. Media reports indicate that soon following a secret visit by John Howard with Australian troops and senior U.S. military officials in southern Iraq on Saturday, March 17, the Prime Minister’s RAAF Hercules plane was forced to land after filling with smoke. Interestingly, the Islamic State claims it was a helicopter, not a plane.
Alphabet City sends the full translation of the Al Qaeda message:
Originally published on 3/26/2007 by Jihadist Websites — OSC Summary in Arabic
Terrorism: Islamic State of Iraq Claims Attack on Helicopter Carrying Australian Prime Minister
On 23 March, a jihadist website posted a statement issued by The Islamic State of Iraq in which the group claimed responsibility for an attack against a helicopter carrying Australian Prime Minister John Howard on 18 March 2007. The statement was attributed to the Ministry of Information of The Islamic State of Iraq and was copied from “Al-Fajr Media Center.”
A translation of the statement follows:
“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
“Praise be to God, Lord of all creation. Prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.
“The Islamic State of Iraq claims responsibility for the attack using the air defense weapon against a helicopter carrying the purported Crusader Australian Prime Minister ‘John Howard,’ which resulted in forcing it to land. That was on Sunday, 29 Safar 1428, corresponding to 18 March 2007. Praise and thanks be to God.
“This operation comes as part of ‘Al-Karamah [Dignity] Plan – the Avenging the Honor Conquest,’ which was ordered by Shaykh Abu-Umar al-Baghdadi, may God protect him, the amir of the believers in The Islamic State of Iraq.
“God is great.
“‘But honor belongs to Allah and His Messenger, and to the Believers; but the Hypocrites know not’ [Koranic verse; Al-Munafiqun 63:8].
“The Islamic State of Iraq – the Ministry of Information”