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al-Qaeda threatens California firm executives, or…

Ba-ba-ba bird, bird, bird, it’s a snoopin’ bird, Part II.

What I really wanted to talk about today, before getting dragged into the ongoing (important) foolishness in Sacramento…

is that an Al Qaeda-linked Web site has threatened 11 senior executives at AeroVironment in Monrovia, CA, which you may remember makes drone aircraft, including the tiny Nano Hummingbird. The FBI warned AeroVironment employees on Thursday about the al-Qaeda threats. Representative Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, issued a statement about the threats on Friday:

“The FBI confirms AeroVironment and its senior executives are on the so-called Al-Qaeda linked ‘Hit List’ on a jihadist website and is continuing to investigate the situation,” Schiff said in the statement. “However, there is currently no evidence that an attack is about to happen or even being extensively planned against local businesses or individuals.”

An online blog post on Homeland Security Today on June 23 said that top U.S. military officials and AeroVironment CEO Timothy Conver and other AeroVironment executives have been identified as targets on several jihadist Web sites.

City officials in Monrovia said that security would be increased at the West Huntington Drive facility over this weekend.

Another article, in the LATimes blogs states that the AeroVironment executives are among 58 targets suggested by members of an al-Qaeda-linked Web site forum. The list came from the Al Qaeda-linked Ansar Al Mujahedeen jihadist forum.

“The briefing we received from the Monrovia police is there is a threat and we are taking that threat seriously and credible. We are working with AeroVironment and Homeland Security to enhance security at the facility and surrounding area,” said Scott Ochoa, Monrovia’s city manager. He noted that the corporate headquarters is in the San Gabriel Valley suburb but that manufacturing is done elsewhere locally.

“Our police department is working with the federal government to ensure security at AeroVironment given the Al Qaeda threat,” added Mayor Mary Lutz.

The list of executives was generated in response to a call to target Americans by former Southern California resident Adam Gadahn, a prominent member of Al Qaeda who grew up in Orange County and Riverside County.

The AeroVironment company manufactures miniature robotic drones, including Raven, Wasp, and Digital Puma. The drones are used in Afganistan to support troops and to target al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

The targeting of corporate executives of military suppliers first became public in the Chicago trial of accused terrorist David Headley in May, who acknowledged that a branch of al-Qaeda in Pakistan had plotted to kill Robert Stevens, the head of Lockheed Martin, a major manufacturer of drone aircraft.

-Bill at

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