Terrorism analyst calls Al Qaeda videotape "an opportunistic stunt" to coincide with 9/11
Questions why Adam Gadahn was speaker on tape instead of major Al Qaeda figure
VIDEOTAPE threatening terrorist attacks on Melbourne and Los Angeles could be an opportunistic stunt to coincide with the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, an al-Qaeda expert says.The tape, first aired by the American ABC network, was obtained in Pakistan by the media organisation.
The footage shows a masked US-born member of al-Qaeda - believed to be Californian man Adam Gadahn - threatening attacks on the two cities, "Allah willing".
But American terrorism expert Bernard Reich, from the University of Virginia, doubts the threats are serious.
"My guess is this one isn't going to lead to anything, but it was an opportunistic effort because it was just prior to 9/11 and because he may well be trying to build his own credibility," Dr Reich said on ABC radio.
"And to put it bluntly, while I find Los Angeles an appealing target, I haven't figured out what Melbourne is."
Dr Reich said security forces worldwide were on alert for possible attacks, amid renewed threats to coincide with the fourth anniversary of September 11.
But he said it was strange that al-Qaeda would use an insignificant member to communicate a major threat when it could have used one of its leaders.
"What I find odd is that he is a relatively low placed individual and out of the mainstream of the (al-Qaeda) leadership," he said.
"Why send the third stream cricket player if you've got the star of the team