British police have issued a warning on Friday to prominent Muslims in the UK of a video made by extremists linked to Somalia’s al-Shabaab militants.
London’s Metropolitan Police are investigating the YouTube video, which was released on Wednesday and has since been taken down off the site.
The hour long video reportedly threatens the lives of prominent British Muslims who the video claims are “enemies of Islam.”
“We are currently assessing its content. A number of individuals have been spoken to following the release of the video,” a Scotland Yard spokesman told Agence France-Presse.
London-based preacher Anjem Choudary has been identified as a leading British influence the Nairobi mall attack, according to the Daily Mail.
Choudary, who has been linked to dozens of terrorist suspects, is highlighted in the video, saying that the British Prime Minster and President Obama treat “Muslim blood like water.”
Police have visited at least four of the British Muslims thought to be targeted because of their outspoken anti-extremist views. The video accused the commentators as having “mutilated the teachings of Islam,” according to the Guardian newspaper.
Imam and journalist Ajmal Masroor wrote on his Facebook page that police had warned him “to be more vigilant,” according to AFP.
Masroor added: “The basic message…was that my life was in imminent danger from the terrorists.”
Despite the threat, Masroor stated, “I shall speak out loud and clearly against extremism and terrorism no matter how many threats I receive.”
Mohammad Ansar, a filmmaker and journalist, stated police were now regularly watching his home.
On his Twitter page he wrote, “It is quite a thing to have your faith and values truly put to the test. To have your life and those you love, at risk. Quite a thing.”
Mohammad Shafiq, a commentator and Usama Hasana, a senior researcher at the Quilliam, an anti-extremist think tank, both confirmed they had received visits from the police after being named in the video.
The video, entitled “The Woolwich Attack: It’s an Eye for an Eye,” was identified by the U.S.-based monitor SITE Intelligence Group as the work of al-Shabaab, the extremist group behind the Nairobi Westgate shopping mall massacre last month.
The video’s title references the British soldier stabbed to death in Woolwich, London last May by two Muslim converts. They are expected to stand trial for the murder next month.
The video, narrated by the voice of a man with a British accent, urged Muslims to carry out attacks in Britain, according to reports, in addition to citing 11 British-based Muslims who the video said had died fighting for al-Shabaab.
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