JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel is taking seriously a threat issued by the head of the Al-Qaeda network Osama Bin Laden in which he vowed the "liberation of Palestine," a government spokesman said on Monday.
"We take seriously the threats of Al-Qaeda just as we take seriously threats by all terrorist organisations," Mark Regev told AFP.
"We have observed Al-Qaeda activities near Israel, notably in Lebanon, Jordan and in the Sinai" peninsula of neighbouring Egypt, he said.
"We also have information on Al-Qaeda activities in the Palestinian territories. Under such circumstances it would be irresponsible not to take these threats seriously and not to be vigilant," he said.
The mass-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported that Israeli intelligence services had information that Al-Qaeda was planning attacks against Israeli or American targets in Turkey.
A Turkish cell of Al-Qaeda was held responsible for two twin truck bombings that targeted two synagogues in Istanbul in November 2003, and the British consulate and a British bank five days later.
Bin Laden issued a new message on Saturday warning Muslims against supporting Iraq's US-backed government and said the liberation of Palestine would follow the Iraqi struggle.
He said in an audiotape message that the mujahedeen would never recognise Israel nor any Palestinian government that does so and warned of "jihad from river to sea... blood for blood and destruction for destruction."
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