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AL QAEDA HIT LIST POSTED ON THE WEB

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The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, on Thursday 06/16/2011, have alerted law enforcement about a terrorist “hit list” that was posted on a jihadi web site and names 40 prominent figures from government, the U.S. military and the media who should be attacked.

Among the names on the hit list, which includes photographs of the targets and biographical information, are a member of Congress, Pentagon officials, a conservative pundit, executives of an American company involved in the production of drone aircraft, and two prominent French executives.

According to a bulletin circulated by the FBI, the hit list appeared on the website Ansar al-Mujahideen, the same website that enounced  the nomination of Ayman Al Zawahiri as the new Chief of Al Qaeda (see – Zawahiri’s Nomination) and on the same day,  after one poster highlighted Al Qaeda leader Adam Yahiye Gadahn’s call in a June 2 message for lone wolf attacks on American public figures and corporate institutions (see – Gadhan 06.02.11). “In response to the original posting,” says the U.S. government’s intelligence bulletin, “other forum members posted the names of over 40 heads of government, industry and media as potential targets.” One forum member suggested that booby-trapped parcels be sent to the home addresses of those on the list.

“Though there has been an increase in postings on extremist web forums since Abbottabad Raid and Osama Bin Laden’s death on 05/02/2011, these examples are the most target specific threat postings in the forum since that date,” says the bulletin. The depth and breadth of the list provided . . . represent a familiarity with defense and intelligence contractors and private sector support.”

An FBI official who reviewed the notice said the threats were mostly aspirational and described the item as a “wish list” of targets. DHS and the FBI circulated the notice to law enforcement out of an abundance of caution because posters on the website were making threats on a publicly available forum.
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