FBI warns of terror threat against U.S. company

14:46, July 02, 2011      

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FBI officials have warned of terror threats against a U.S. company which builds unmanned surveillance aircraft, a local newspaper reported on Friday.

Terror group al-Qaeda had threatened to attack 11 senior executives at the AeroVironment Inc., based in Monrovia near Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.

A June 23 on-line blog post on Homeland Security Today, a New York-based website that follows Homeland Security issues, said top U.S. military leaders and AeroVironment CEO Timothy Conver and other AV executives have been identified as targets on several jihadist websites, the Tribune reported.

Monrovia city officials said security at the facility would be beefed up over the 4th of July weekend after the threats surfaced on a jihadist website, the report said.

"We are working with AeroVironment and other agencies to enhance security at the facility this weekend," City Manager Scott Ochoa told the newspaper.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said she hadn't heard of a specific threat to AV but added that the FBI takes such threats seriously.

An AV employee who asked to remain anonymous told the Tribune that company executives led by Mike Bissonette, senior vice president and general manager, held a meeting Thursday afternoon with employees regarding the threat.

He told staffers the company had been contacted by the FBI, the employee told the Tribune.

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said the city is coordinating with several agencies to help ensure public safety. However, several weekend events, including the Monrovia Family Festival and Farmer's Market, will go on as planned, she told the newspaper.

AV makes a variety of unmanned surveillance aircraft systems, including the Dragon Eye, Raven, Wasp and Puma AE, that are used by U.S. forces in the war on terrorism.

Source: Xinhua

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