DUBAI (Reuters) – A group saying it has ties to al Qaeda vowed on Thursday to strike inside El Salvador if the country sends fresh troops to Iraq, according to a message posted on an Islamist Web site.
El Salvador’s President Tony Saca said on Wednesday a new contingent of Salvadoran troops — approved by the legislature last month after heated debate — would leave for Iraq in the middle of August.
“Dispatching any troops from El Salvador would be a declaration of war against Iraq’s Muslim people, prompting us to launch war against you and move the conflict inside El Salvador,” said the hitherto unknown group Mohammed Atta Brigades – al Qaeda of Jihad.
The authenticity of the statement could not be verified. The group is named after a leader of the hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
“No citizen will enjoy security in El Salvador as soon as any soldier arrives in Iraq … And do not hold us responsible for bloodshed in El Salvador as we have cautioned you against taking such a step,” said the brief statement in Arabic.