Australian and British security experts are studying a video of a masked man with an Australian accent warnung of new attacks in the West in the name of Islam.
The two-hour tape, showing a man wearing combat gear and a balaclava and carrying a rifle, was first broadcast by Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television earlier this week and it has since aired on Australian TV. It also shows what appears to be an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan.
Speaking in English, the unidentified man warned that terrorists would again strike in the West, the AP reports.
"It is time for us to be equals. As you kill us, you'll be killed. As you bomb us, you will be bombed," the man said. He did not name the organization he represents.
Four suicide bombers killed themselves and 52 other people in London on July 7, and a handful of would-be bombers failed in the British capital two weeks later.
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said experts in Britain and Australia will determine whether the tape is genuine and try to identify the man.
"That will be extremely difficult to do, but experts will be having a look at that as they will in the United Kingdom," Downer told Seven Network television.
The Attorney General's office said earlier Wednesday that the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, better known as ASIO, was examining the video.
Downer said it was possible that the masked man was one of a number of Australians who support al-Qaida's "jihad," or holy war, against the West.
"We do have a very small number of Australians who are jihadists who have joined the jihad movement and trained with al-Qaida. We can't rule it out that it's an Australian," he told Nine Network television.
Sydney's Macquarie University linguistics expert Felicity Fox said after viewing the tape that the man's accent sounded natural, as if he had at least been raised in Australia, if not born there.
The man berated U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair over their involvement in Iraq, and claimed that a rocket attack on a helicopter that killed 16 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in June was carried out by al-Qaida fighters.
"The animals under Islam will not just let you kill our families in Palestine, Afghanistan, Kashmir and the Balkans, Indonesia, the Caucuses and elsewhere," the man said.
Taped against a backdrop of trees, it was unclear where the message was filmed or how Al-Arabiya got hold of the tape.
Australian National University terrorism expert Clive Williams said it looked as though it was shot in Afghanistan. But he suggested that the masked spokesman could have been edited in later in another location.
"It's probably intended to show the organization has international support," Williams said.
Australian Strategic Policy Institute military analyst Aldo Borgu said the tape's images of seized weapons appeared to be genuine U.S. special forces issue.
The Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said earlier this month that intelligence agencies knew of 60 Islamic extremists in Australia, many of whom had trained in terrorist camps overseas.
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