U.S. Based Drone Maker Under Al-Qaeda Threat
From Times of India:
LOS ANGELES: Al-Qaida militants could target senior executives of a US company that builds unmanned surveillance aircraft, a media report said.
The terror group threatened to attack 11 senior staff at the AeroVironment Inc. (AV), based in Monrovia near Los Angeles, Xinhua reported quoting San Gabriel Valley Tribune on Friday.
AV makes a variety of unmanned surveillance aircraft systems, including the Dragon Eye, Raven, Wasp and Puma AE, that are used by US forces in the war on terrorism.
Top US military leaders and AeroVironment CEO Timothy Conver and other executives have been identified as targets on several jihadist websites, the Tribune said citing a blog post on Homeland Security Today, a New York-based website that follows security issues.
Monrovia city officials said security at the facility would be beefed up over the July 4 weekend after the threats surfaced on a jihadist website.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (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 requesting anonymity 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.
Bissonette told staffers that the company had been contacted by the FBI, according to the employee.
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.
Be careful out there. Now that AV is alerted Al-Qaeda will likely look for easier industrial targets.