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Report: FBI Warns Of Al-Qaida Threats Against Monrovia Aircraft Execs

PASADENA (CBS) — Federal officials are warning a Southland surveillance aircraft manufacturer that Islamic terrorist group al-Qaida has threatened nearly a dozen of its top executives, according to a report Friday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations would not confirm a specific threat against the Monrovia facility of AeroVironment Inc., but city officials announced enhanced security measures over the holiday weekend after threats surfaced on a jihadist website, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.

"We are working with AeroVironment and other agencies to enhance security at the facility this weekend," City Manager Scott Ochoa told the newspaper Thursday.

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 who asked to remain anonymous 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.

He told staffers the company had been contacted by the FBI, the employee told the Tribune.

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.

A June 23 online blog post on Homeland Security Today, a New York-based website that follows Homeland Security issues, said top U.S. military leaders and AeroVironment CEO Timothy Conver and other AV executives have been identified as targets on several jihadist websites, the Tribune reported.

AV makes a variety of unmanned surveillance aircraft systems, including the Dragon Eye, Raven, Wasp and Puma AE, that are used by U.S. forces in the war on terrorism.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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