New York City was named as the target of a new terrorism threat Monday, as reports emerged that al Qaeda seems to have targeted the city in a foreboding online graphic, tells International Business Times.
The graphic is a stylized photograph of the Manhattan skyline with tourists in the foreground superimposed with a Hollywood-style caption in bold block letters that says: “ALQAEDA – coming soon again in New York.”
According to NBC New York, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the graphic appeared on a site that has hosted al-Qaida material before and is what the NYPD Intelligence Division refers to as a Category 1 website, meaning it is heavily used by Jihadi and al-Qaida adherents.
The New York Police Department was “investigating the origin and significance of the graphic … which appeared today on a few Arabic-language al Qaeda forums that remain online at the moment,” NYPD chief spokesman Paul Browne said, according to Reuters.
Browne added that the graphic appears to have been created on a Cinema 4 software, which typically costs about $1,600.
The NYPD e-mailed the image out to the press in order to let the public know about the threat.
“The NYPD Intelligence Division’s cyber unit is investigating the origin and significance of the graphic below which appeared today on [a] few Arabic-language al Qaeda forums,” the NYPD wrote in the e-mail.
“It was posted in the ‘artwork and design’ section of the forum below. Until more is learned about their origin, we take all threats against New York City seriously.”
An FBI spokesman said agents are also investigating the significance and origin of the graphic.
“The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is aware of the posting and investigating its authenticity and origin,” said J. Peter Donald. “The FBI takes all threats seriously and at his time there is no specific or credible threat to New York.”
However, the NYPD says there is no evidence of any plot or new specific threat to the region. Al-Qaida web forums often post threats and rants from extremists and al-Qaida sympathizers.
There have been numerous security scares in New York since the September 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks that destroyed the World Trade Centre and damaged the Pentagon.