Al Qaeda Operative Threatens Japan with Attacks
Al Qaeda Operative Threatens Japan with Attacks, Claims Responsibility for Istanbul and Nassirriya Bombings
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyib Erdogan said claims that al- Qaeda carried out the synagogue bombings in Istanbul on saturday are being studied closely. The Turkish cabinet convenes to discuss the issue after reports the government had been warned in advance about possible strikes.
An alleged Al Qaeda source also warned Japan not to sent troops to Iraq and claimed the bombings against Italian forces in Iraq last week. In response to one of the most specific threats to date to be made by the al Qaeda network on Japanese interests, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Monday Japan must not give in to so called terrorists who are making threats everywhere in the world.
Japanese foreign ministry said Japan was investigating the credibility of the threat after the London-based Arab-language newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi said that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network was planning car bombings against the United States and its allies, including Japan.
The weekly said it had received the message from an al Qaeda operative who said the group would strike in Japan if Tokyo sent troops to Iraq. However, Japan's chief government spokesman played down al Qaeda’s threats.
Despite the government's playing down of the threat, Tokyo markets were spooked. Japan's Nikkei average fell over three percent and was below 10,000 for the first time since August.
Economists said should the reported threat be supported by evidence, the yen’s fall would become much faster. Meanwhile, Nippon television network said based on a telephone poll released Monday almost three quarters of Japanese are against sending troops to Iraq.
The ratio of opponents to the proposed dispatch of Japan's Self- Defence Forces to Iraq in the nationwide poll jumped by 22 percentage points to 71 percent compared with a survey conducted last August.
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