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Al Qa'ida confirm bin Laden's death and threaten retaliation

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05:  U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Diane Wall, whose husband Glen Wall perished in the twin towers on 9-11, at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero May 5, 2011 in New York City.  Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York.   (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Diane Wall, whose husband Glen Wall perished in the twin towers on 9-11, at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05:  U.S. President Barack Obama (C) bows his head during a moment of silence with 9-11 first responders New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses (L) and New York Fire Department officer Joseph Lapointe during a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York.   (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) bows his head during a moment of silence with 9-11 first responders New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses (L) and New York Fire Department officer Joseph Lapointe during a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama

President Barack Obama is applauded as he meets with firefighters and first responders at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama is applauded as he meets with firefighters and first responders at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Charles Dharapak

New York city police officers detain a man near Ground Zero as President Obama leaves a ground zero,  Thursday, May 5, 2011 in New York. President Obama came to New York to visit with the firefighters and to visit ground zero after announcing that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

New York city police officers detain a man near Ground Zero as President Obama leaves a ground zero, Thursday, May 5, 2011 in New York. President Obama came to New York to visit with the firefighters and to visit ground zero after announcing that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Mary Altaffer

Marine One, with President Barack Obama aboard, comes in for a landing on the South Lawn to the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 5, 2011, as he returned from New York. The Washington Monument is in the background. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Marine One, with President Barack Obama aboard, comes in for a landing on the South Lawn to the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 5, 2011, as he returned from New York. The Washington Monument is in the background. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Carolyn Kaster

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05:  U.S. President Barack Obama (C) carries a wreath with New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses (4th L), New York FIre Department firefighter Joseph Lapointe (5th R) and Port Authority Police Department officer John Adorno (4th R) during a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York.   (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) carries a wreath with New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses (4th L), New York FIre Department firefighter Joseph Lapointe (5th R) and Port Authority Police Department officer John Adorno (4th R) during a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama

A crowd waits for President Barack Obama to make an appearance at the fire station for Engine 54 Ladder 4 Battalion 9 in New York Thursday, May 5, 2011. President Obama came to New York to visit with the firefighters and to visit ground zero after announcing that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1. (AP Photo/Andrew Burton)

A crowd waits for President Barack Obama to make an appearance at the fire station for Engine 54 Ladder 4 Battalion 9 in New York Thursday, May 5, 2011. President Obama came to New York to visit with the firefighters and to visit ground zero after announcing that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1. (AP Photo/Andrew Burton)

Andrew Burton

President Barack Obama meets with firefighters and first responders at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9, before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama meets with firefighters and first responders at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9, before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Charles Dharapak

President Barack Obama meets with police officers and first responders at the First Precinct before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama meets with police officers and first responders at the First Precinct before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Charles Dharapak

The Presidential motorcade leaves the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Obama visited Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Presidential motorcade leaves the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Obama visited Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: A view of construction at the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama is visiting Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: A view of construction at the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama is visiting Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Spencer Platt

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: A view of construction at the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama is visiting Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: A view of construction at the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama is visiting Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Spencer Platt

ARLINGTON, VA- MAY 05:  U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden lays a wreath during a ceremony to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, on May 5, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Earlier this week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a special force led operation in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, VA- MAY 05: U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden lays a wreath during a ceremony to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, on May 5, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Earlier this week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a special force led operation in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Mark Wilson

President Barack Obama pauses after laying a wreath at the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama pauses after laying a wreath at the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Charles Dharapak

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05:  U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) carries a wreath with 9-11 first responders New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses (3rd L) and New York Fire Department officer Joseph Lapointe (R) during a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York.   (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) carries a wreath with 9-11 first responders New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses (3rd L) and New York Fire Department officer Joseph Lapointe (R) during a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 05: U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden (C), and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (2nd-L) participate in a wreath laying ceremony to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, May 5, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Earlier this week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a special force led operation in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 05: U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden (C), and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (2nd-L) participate in a wreath laying ceremony to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, May 5, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Earlier this week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a special force led operation in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Mark Wilson

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 05: A wreath stands at the wall of the Pentagon to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, May 5, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Earlier this week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a special force led operation in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 05: A wreath stands at the wall of the Pentagon to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, May 5, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Earlier this week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a special force led operation in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Mark Wilson

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05:  U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Diane Wall, whose husband Glen Wall perished in the twin towers on September 11, 2001, as other victims' family members look on at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York.   (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Diane Wall, whose husband Glen Wall perished in the twin towers on September 11, 2001, as other victims' family members look on at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama

President Barack Obama (center) walks through the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Obama visited Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama (center) walks through the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Obama visited Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A view of construction at the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama is visiting Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A view of construction at the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama is visiting Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05:  U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses bow their heads at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero, after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York.   (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses bow their heads at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero, after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Diane Wall, whose husband Glen Wall perished in the twin towers on 9-11, at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Al-Qa'ida confirmed the killing of Osama bin Laden and warned of retaliation, saying Americans' "happiness will turn to sadness."

The confirmation came in an Internet statement posted on militant websites, signed by "the general leadership" of al-Qa'ida. The announcement opens the way for the group to name a successor to bin Laden. His deputy Ayman al-Zawahri is now the most prominent figure in the group and is a very likely contender to take his place.



The statement, dated May 3, was the first by the terror network since bin Laden was killed Monday by US commandos in a raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The statement's authenticity could not be independently confirmed, but it was posted on websites where the group traditionally puts out its messages.



"We stress that the blood of the holy warrior sheik, Osama bin Laden, God bless him, is precious to us and to all Muslims and will no go in vain," the statement said. "We will remain, God willing, a curse chasing the Americans and their agents, following them outside and inside their countries."



"Soon, God willing, their happiness will turn to sadness," it said, "their blood will be mingled with their tears."



In the statement, al-Qa'ida also called on the people of Pakistan — "where Sheik Osama was killed" — to rise up in revolt against its leaders. It also said that an audio message bin Laden recorded a week before his death would be issued soon.

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