Al Qaeda Threatens to Nuke New York on February 2
The banner headline spread across the front page of Il Giornale, the respected Milan daily reads:
Al Qaeda: We will destroy New York within 35 days. Threat on the Internet. Countdown begins.
The threat was contained in a video clip featured on a web site associated with the fundamentalist terror group. It announced al Qaeda plans to destroy New York in a nuclear blast on February 2. Il Giornale claims the FBI blocked and removed the web site.
The video clip showed three possible scenarios: 1. A bomb or giant fireball from the skies that will cover the metropolis with a radioactive cloud. 2. A storm of radioactive clouds that will topple skyscrapers one by one, along with the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge. 3. An explosion on board a charter aircraft that will cause a radioactive cloud to spread over the city.
The video clip was accompanied by large, red-lettered Arabic captions saying: If God wills it, the end of America is near.
DEBKAfiles counter-terrorism sources say they cannot verify the authorship or gauge the seriousness of the threat because the Internet site is no longer accessible. But the report appeared in a newspaper widely viewed as the flagship of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Such reports - even if not authenticated - tend to contribute to the mounting sense of alarm generated by Orange Alert in America and other Western countries.
It comes against the backdrop of appeals to New Year revelers to stay away
from the traditional New Years Eve celebrations in Times Square, Romes
St. Peters Square, Moscows Red Square and Londons Trafalgar
Square or even Disney World and the Las Vegas Strip. All these sites
are surrounded by heavy security.