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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Shopping sites threatened by extremists in video

Shoppers walk along Oxford Street in central London, which has been threatened by Somali-based Islamist militants. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Shoppers walk along Oxford Street in central London, which has been threatened by Somali-based Islamist militants. REUTERS/Neil Hall

By Rachael Burnett

A video claiming to be by Somalia's al-Qaida-linked rebels has urged Muslims to attack London shopping sites including Oxford Street and Westfield Stratford City.

In the footage, released last night, Somalia's extremist group al-Shabab says the 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, was in retaliation for Kenyan military involvement in Somalia.

The video shows footage from major news organisations of the assault, in which 67 people died over a number of days in September that year.

A masked narrator in the 76-minute clip warns of more attacks in Kenya and calls on Muslims to attack shopping centres, specifically mentioning Oxford Street and the Westfield centre.

He also listed the Mall of America in Minnesota and West Edmonton Mall in Canada as potential targets.

Security has reportedly been increased at the sites in the US and Canada but the Met Police said it does not comment on security.

A Met spokesman said: "The MPS Counter Terrorism Command is aware of the video and is assessing the content.

"We remind the public that downloading extremist material may constitute an offence."

The authenticity of the video could not be verified.

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