Report: New al Qaeda Threats Against U.S. from Extremist Leader

Al Jazeera says message from former Gitmo detainee urges attacks.

February 8, 2010, 4:12 PM

Feb. 8, 2010— -- A new posting on an extremist website claiming to be from the deputy leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Said al-Shihri, has him making new threats again U.S. interests around the world, according to Arabic-language news network Al Jazeera.

The message from al-Shihri, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, allegedly says: "American and Crusader interests are everywhere and their agents are moving everywhere."

In the message al-Shihri urges followers to "Attack them and eliminate as many enemies as you can," according to a translation reported on Al Jazeera's website.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has risen quickly as a regional al Qaeda affiliate known for its involvement and role in training Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national behind the alleged attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253 on Christmas Day.

Al-Shihri first made an appearance for AQAP in a propaganda video last year which was found and posted online by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Following his release from Guantanamo Bay in Nov. 2007, al-Shihri entered a Saudi run rehabilitation program intended to deradicalize terrorism suspects.

According to U.S. officials, shortly after his release in 2008 from the Saudi program, al-Shihri entered Yemen and connected with regional commanders in Al Qaeda - rising to prominence because of his time at Guantanamo.

Al-Shihri was linked to a Sept. 2008 car bomb attack against the US Embassy in Sana'a in Yemen which killed over 16 people, officials said.

U.S. analysts and counterterrorism officials could not verify authenticity of the message.

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