The media seem to be taking pretty seriously the claim by alleged al Qaeda franchisee Abu-Hafs al-Masri /al-Qaeda Brigades that they’re calling off attacks on Spain for the time being and are targeting Japan, Italy, Britain or Australia — The Australian‘s headline: “Al-Qa’ida puts us on target list.” Yet this alleged group also claimed responsibility for last year’s huge US/Canada blackouts, which the FBI claims is absurd. In fact Abu al-HM isn’t connected to any known act of terror, & some experts question the group’s existence.
Meanwhile France has been threatened in a letter signed by a previously unknown alleged Islamist group. Some news reports claim that the letter is signed “Servants of Allah the Powerful and Wise” and others “the Brigade of Movsar Barayev.” About this letter, France’s interior minister said: “The specialized services believe that the phrasing does not correspond to the rhythm typically used by extremists in these kinds of messages.” He later suggested that French right-wingers could be responsible.
The alleged group’s namesake, Movsar Barayev, was the chief Islamist leader in Chechnya, before he was killed in the Moscow theater siege. Barayev’s successor is quoted as saying: “There is no such thing as a ‘Brigade of Movsar Barayev.'” Meanwhile, the Socialists have accused the French PM of fearmongering before the regional elections.