Rakan bin Williams, a ?secret soldier of al-Qaeda ,? purportedly authored a message from Italy, and distributed by the Global Islamic Media Front amongst several jihadist forums, warning the heads of governments involved in Iraq, including: John Howard, Junichiro Koizumi, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, and Silvio Berlusconi, that assassination attempts will be made upon them unless they change their policies vis-ŕ-vis Iraq and Muslims. Bin Williams specifies Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi as the ?vilest? and states ?the kidnapping plan is ready and the place of slaughter is reserved.?
The leaders mentioned of the Australian, Japanese, British, American, and Italian governments are described in the message as believing themselves insulated from al-Qaeda by their various security apparatus. Bin Williams argues that this protection will fray at the end of their respective terms in office, and at that moment, sums of money to hire an assassin would decrease and al-Qaeda will act. He states: ?Do not think that we are just playing with your nerves or that we try to cause you distress by talk and become exhausted.?
Concerning the Italian Prime Minister, bin Williams asserts that Berlusconi put himself and Italy in the ?mouth of a volcano? for only 2,900 soldiers, allegedly diverting from the will of his people. The message contains a discussion of the politics of Berlusconi?s ?expected successor? Romano Prodi, and the mayor of Marano, Mauro Bertini, regarding the withdrawal of Italian troops from Iraq, and indicates that the sole action that many save Berlusconi is to conduct the withdrawal during his administration. Addressing the Italian people, bin Williams states: ?you, the Italian people, should know that the only thing that kept al-Qaeda from hitting the streets of Rome until now, was the expectation of what the coming elections would bring. If you nominate those who agree to the war against Iraq and its supporters, such as Silvio Berlusconi, do not blame anyone but yourselves! Blood and Destruction!?
A translation of the message is provided to our Intel Service members.