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Website Threatens Attacks by Saudi Cell on Westerners

June 08, 2004|From Associated Press

CAIRO — A statement posted on the Internet and signed by an Al Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia threatened Monday that the terrorist network would target Western airlines, military bases and residential compounds.

The warning of attacks in the "near future" appeared on a website known for posting messages from militants. The communication's authenticity could not be confirmed.

A spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, Brian Roehrkasse, said, "This particular threat appears to be focused on Westerners in the Arabian Peninsula.

"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," Roehrkasse said.

The website statement did not specify that airline attacks would be limited to Saudi Arabia. It suggested that more attacks on Western targets in the kingdom were imminent.

The statement warned Muslims to avoid "contact with the American and Western crusaders and all nonbelievers in the Arabian Peninsula."

On May 29, gunmen attacked a complex housing oil workers in Khobar, killing 22 people.

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