ALGIERS (Reuters) - The al Qaeda network will strike U.S. targets in America and around the world soon, an al Qaeda spokesman said in an interview published Tuesday.
"Our military and intelligence networks are assessing and monitoring new U.S. targets that we will strike in a period of time which is not long," spokesman Sulaiman bu Ghaith told the Algerian Arabic daily newspaper El Youm.
The United States blames Saudi-born Islamic militant Osama bin Laden ( news - web sites)'s al Qaeda for the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks on New York and Washington that killed more than 3,000 people.
"Our suicide militants are ready and impatient to carry out attacks against U.S. and Jewish targets inside (America) and abroad," the spokesman added.
El Youm director told Reuters the newspaper received on Monday by e-mail taped answers to questions that had been sent Sunday to al Qaeda's Internet Web site. Bu Ghaith warned America to "fasten its seat belts" because his organization "will hit, with God's willing, from where they will not expect."
"America knows we are men of action and not men of words," he went on, saying that attacks were also being planned against the "puppet government" of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Bu Ghaith, in a tape aired last month by Qatar-based al Jazeera television, said al Qaeda was behind a suicide attack on a Tunisian synagogue in April that killed 21 people, including 14 German tourists.
He told El Youm that Washington's war on terrorism since Sept. 11 had not affected al Qaeda's military, intelligence, economic and information infrastructures and reiterated that bin Laden was going about his work.
A spokesman for international forces hunting al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan ( news - web sites) has dismissed as "wishful thinking" such claims that the network is still virtually intact.