ordered its members to abduct "Zionists" and carry out suicide bombings at embassies and airports around the world, reports said Tuesday, January 21.
In a letter that appeared on a Web site identified with al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, the group called on members to rid the world of "non-believers," the well informed International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) News Service reported.
"Attempts must be made to abduct…one or two Americans or Zionists, focus on abducting journalists or famous people in order to pressure [the US or Israel]," al Qaida was quoted as telling its supporters.
It ordered members to target embassies all over the world that belong to "enemies," suggesting missile attacks against the buildings as "some of the embassies are located in areas suitable for missile attacks."
Al Qaida gives several examples of different ways to carry out attacks, including cars bombs detonated by remote control, or suicide bombers who detonate simultaneously to create a "greater effect."
The al Qaida letter with its reference to Israel, was expected to heighten tensions in the region amid revelations Tuesday, January 21, of a proposed constitution that would make Islam the official religion of a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.
Palestinian officials have reportedly said this would meet the needs of the estimated 3 million Palestinians who are mainly Muslims. Experts say only 50,000 Christians are left in the region. Some sites considered Biblical or holy by many Christians, like the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, are in Palestinian towns.