Police: Las Vegas mentioned as al-Qaida terror target
The Las Vegas Strip appears in this undated file photo. (File/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Metro police have confirmed al-Qaida leaders are encouraging lone jihadists to target Las Vegas for terror attacks. That information comes from a recent publication which names the city as a top spot to strike.
"It's just a suggestive rhetoric to those who subscribe to violent jihadists ideologies," said Lt. Nichole Splinter with the Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Unit.
It's in a publication titled Palestine where you can see Las Vegas listed as a top spot for a potential terror attack. The city is listed in a section about building and using car bombs. Splinter said it's not uncommon for publications like this to suggest the names of big cities to target.
"It does not, however, interpret there is any planning or operational phases that have been identified," Splinter said.
The article points out specific targets like nightclubs and casinos to rack up mass casualties. Splinter said there is no evidence of a specific plan in place, but she and her team have their eyes open.
"We have thousands of trained personnel in our community and staff on the Strip that remain vigilant," Splinter said.
"This is a very detailed and precise manual, how to make a bomb," said Doron Benbenisty, the owner of Counter Terrorism Training School.
Benbenisty said Las Vegas has always been a target for a potential terror attack. He said it's the city's vulnerability, having casinos and an international airport, that makes us a target.
"The population is very dense. The Strip is the lifeline of the city, they know. What's the purpose of terrorists, besides killing people? It's disrupting our way of life," Benbenisty said.
Benbenisty said after learning of this information people should not be afraid, but aware.
"Preparing, being proactive, that's the key role that needs to be played to prevent that," Benbenisty said.
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