Maybe A-Q will launch the attack from the Islamic Republic of France. “Terrorism: Italy Downplays Al-Qaeda Christmas Threat,” from AKI, with thanks to Kemaste:
Rome, 7 Nov. (AKI) – A new message threatening Italy with attacks involving surface-to-air missiles or poisonous substances has appeared on Islamic internet forums linked to the al-Qaeda terror network. The threat is made under the name of Sayf al-Adel, one of al-Qaeda’s main leaders, who disappeared after the US invasion of Afghanistan and who, experts believe, is currently in hiding or in prison in Iran. However, Italian interior minister Giuseppe Pisanu played down the threat, saying there was no cause for excessive alarm.
Both the title and the content of the message make reference to a news story reported a couple of weeks ago, about rumours that Osama bin Laden had been killed in the earthquake which struck Pakistani Kashmir last month.
The title of the message talks of “good news which, God willing, will arrive soon from the land of the Romans”. This comes “from your brother Sayf al-Adel to all those who have said that Sheikh Osama bin Laden died in the Pakistan earthquake, was arrested or fell ill,” the statement says.
The militant then states that “these reports are only the fruit of a media war. Sheikh Osama bin Laden is well and in a safe place, and we will soon see him during the Christmas holidays in the land of the Romans, after the next attack in Europe, which will primarily regard Italy.”
The message suggests that Italy or another European country is due to be attacked around Christmas and that such an attack will be immediately followed by a message from Osama bin Laden. It has been almost a year since the last audio message attributed to the al-Qaeda leader appeared, and more than a year since he made his last video message.
The message on the forum goes on to provide details of what form the attack on Italy might take. In particular it talks of the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade as the operative cell due to ‘take care of’ Italy.
“You will see the attacks of the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades at the heart of the country,” the message continues. “The brothers who are there have assured us that the Brigades have managed to get hold of surface-to-air missiles from Chechnya and these missiles were used last year in the attacks against airports in Great Britain. They have also managed to obtain a quantity of poisonous material to create bombs. God willing, there will be no security in the land of the Romans and the war will be long.”…
On Monday, the Italian interior minister downplayed the importance of the message, saying it was very short and ungrammatical and “the author could be a Jihadist net surfer who closely follows the European news regarding political violence and draws on it for his message.”