With European law enforcement officials warning of an imminent holiday terror attack, Web sites associated with al Qaeda announced today that the group's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is about to issue a new statement entitled "the truths about the clash between Islam and atheism."
According to the Associated Press, John Reid, Britain's top law enforcement official, said Sunday that it was "highly likely" that terrorists would attempt to mount an attack over the holiday period, when the number of travelers swells. He gave no other details.
The head of Britain's domestic spy agency MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, has said her agents are tracking almost 30 terrorist plots involving 1,600 suspects, and that at least five major terror plots had been thwarted since the July 2005 transit bomb attacks in London.
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Zawahiri's statement is being advertised by al Sahab, the production wing for al Qaeda. Typically, the statements are released a few days after being advertised by al Sahab, which would put this message out right before the Christmas holiday weekend begins.
Al Zawahiri's last 11 statements were video releases. The last we heard from al Zawahiri was about two months ago at the end of September. In that statement, Zawahiri pontificated about the new Pope and the crisis in Darfur.