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Al Qaeda warns of attacks on western airlines
Updated: 2004-06-08 00:37

A statement purportedly from al Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia warned Monday of new attacks on U.S. and Western airlines, installations and areas frequented by Westerners.

"All compounds, bases and means of transport, especially Western and American airlines, will be a direct target for our coming operations in the near future," said the statement, posted on a pro-al Qaeda site on the Internet.

It asked Muslims to keep away from Americans and other Westerners to avoid falling victim to an attack by the Islamic militant network led by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden.

"We also warn security forces and guards of Crusader (Western) compounds and American bases and all those who stand with America, its agents... and the tyrants of the Saudi government, and urge them to repent," said the statement, signed by al Qaeda's Organization in the Arabian Peninsula.

The statement followed a gun attack that killed a BBC cameraman and critically wounded a BBC correspondent in the Saudi capital Riyadh Sunday, the fourth in five weeks on foreigners in the kingdom.

A week earlier al Qaeda militants killed 22 people, 19 of them foreigners, in a shooting and hostage-taking spree in the oil city of Khobar. The assault helped push oil prices to record highs before producers promised to raise output.

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