London, June 12 (ANI): State Security Service MI5 has warned that the Al-Qaeda is targeting young muslim British youths through its provocative preaching.
It claims that Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical al-Qaeda preacher based in the Middle East, is infusing radical thoughts among them through his jihadi ideologues, the Telegraph reported.
According to the paper, he caught the headlines with one of his statements in March, in which he said: "Isn't it ironic that the two capitals of the war against Islam, Washington DC and London, have also become among the centres of Western Jihad [holy war]. Jihad is becoming as American as apple pie and as British as afternoon tea."
Awlaki, who was born in America, but is of Yemeni descent, is in hiding in Yemen, where he also spent his teenage years.
He has become the foremost influence on young radical Muslims across the world through his English language sermons delivered over the Internet.
In the past few weeks, al-Qaeda has released a 45-minute interview with him in which he admitted admit involvement in 14 plots in the US, Canada and Britain, the paper reports.
The British security services have become so worried about Awlaki's rising influence that they have alerted ministers to their fears. He is now regarded as one of the world's most wanted terrorists, it adds.
A briefing paper, seen by The Daily Telegraph, has been circulated within the government, warning that Awlaki has now "cemented his position as one of the leading English-speaking jihadi ideologues". (ANI)