Al Qaeda-Inspired Militant Leader Threatens News Attacks in Lebanon

The fugitive leader of the Al Qaeda-inspired group Fatah Islam lashed out at Lebanon's Sunni politicians and Shiite Hezbollah militants and threatened suicide attacks in a new audio message Tuesday.

Shaker Youssef al-Absi said that the time had come for revenge against the "enemies of God" and added that suicide attackers were ready for action. The authenticity of the audio posted on a Web site commonly used by militants could not be independently verified.

It was the second posting by al-Absi, sentenced to death earlier this year by a Lebanese court for double bus bombings that killed three people and wounded 20 in 2007. In his first message, in January, he slammed the Lebanese army chief and president-to-be.

Al-Absi remains at large after escaping in September from fierce fighting with the Lebanese army at the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon.

Fatah Islam claimed responsibility this month for a May 31 explosion that killed a Lebanese soldier in the northern town of Abdeh near Nahr el-Bared.