CAIRO -- An Internet statement signed by an Al Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia warned yesterday that the terror network will target Western airlines, military bases, and residential compounds and told Muslims to stay away from Westerners.
The warning of attacks in "the near future" appeared on a website known for posting messages from militants, including the video in which men believed to be part of a terror group with Al Qaeda links executed Nicholas Berg, an American kidnapped in Iraq.
The authenticity of the statement, signed "Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula," could not be confirmed. Al Qaeda uses the term "Arabian Peninsula" to refer to Saudi Arabia because it rejects the rule of the Saud dynasty, after whom the country is named.
"This particular threat appears to be focused on Westerners in the Arabian peninsula," said Brian Roehrkasse of the US Department of Homeland Security. "While Al Qaeda has demonstrated its ability to attack Westerners, there is no indication from this information that Al Qaeda is currently targeting airliners in the United States."
The statement warned that everything associated with "crusaders," including "compounds, bases, and means of transport, especially Western and American airlines, will be the direct targets of our next operations in the path of holy war."