A message posted on an Islamic Web site claims that “suicide attacks” will be launched against Americans in Bahrain, including the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet headquarters, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.
The statement claims to be from the Bahrain Branch of Ansar al-Islam, according to the report. The radical Islamist organization consists of Iraqi Kurds and Arabs who want to create an independent Islamic state in Iraq.
The U.S. State Department has listed it as a terrorist group with between 700 and 1,000 members. Al-Qaida is suspected of funding and supporting the group.
The Web statement urged “believers” to avoid the U.S. Embassy, the area near the ambassador’s residence, hotels and clubs, “obscene commercial complexes,” oil pipeline and the University of Bahrain as well 5th Fleet headquarters.
“We also renew our loyalty for the great Islamic leader Osama bin Ladin, and we are walking on the path of jihad,” the statement added.
The authenticity of the statement could not be determined.
The U.S. military evacuated about 1,000 family members from Bahrain in mid-July because of terrorism concerns. The Pentagon has made tours of duty to the small Middle East country an “unaccompanied tour,” which means family members can no longer accompany active-duty personnel to Bahrain.
The Navy’s 5th Fleet oversees American warships and submarines operating in the Middle East region. Messages to the headquarters staff on Friday were not returned before deadline.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.