LEAD: Al-Qaida tape said to threaten attacks on L.A., Melbourne.
(EDS: ADDING DETAILS)
In a communique coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, a suspected al-Qaida operative has threatened attacks against Los Angeles and Melbourne, ABC News reported.
''Yesterday, London and Madrid. Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, God willing. At this time, don't count on us demonstrating restraint or compassion,'' the 11-minute videotape reportedly warns.
''We are Muslims. We love peace, but peace on our terms, peace as laid down by Islam, not the so-called peace of occupiers and dictators.''
ABC News said U.S. intelligence officials believe the man who appears on the tape, wearing a black turban with most of his face covered, to be Adam Yahiye Gadahn, of California, who last year delivered a similar taped communique for al-Qaida that was later deemed authentic.
According to the Associated Press, investigators have said Gadahn grew up on a farm in California, converted to Islam as a teen, moved to Pakistan, attended al-Qaida training camps and served as a translator for the terrorist organization.
The 27-year-old is wanted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation ''in connection with possible terrorist threats against the United States,'' the FBI says on its website.
The tape, which was reportedly delivered to the network's office in Pakistan, appears to include the same graphics and production techniques recognized by U.S. officials as part of al-Qaida's standard propaganda production, ABC News said.
In response to the threat against Los Angeles, the city's mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, and its police department released a joint statement saying there are no known, credible threats against the city and labeling the tape an instrument of al-Qaida propaganda.
''The statement...should come as no surprise to anyone. The statement was meant to instill fear, and fear is the most important weapon the terrorists possess,'' they reportedly said in the statement.
Los Angeles police chief William Bratton reportedly told ABC News his city has ''very robust counterterrorism'' steps in place and was already on a heightened state of alert because of Jewish holidays next month.
In Australia, police spokesman in the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, was quoted by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. as saying state police are aware of the tape and are trying to obtain a copy for authentication and analysis.
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|Publication:||Asian Political News|
|Date:||Sep 12, 2005|
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