Reports today state that the Manchester United football team was a main target of Al Qaeda hotel bombers two weeks ago.
From the Daily Mail:
Today, an internet message emerged purporting to be by South East Asia’s most wanted terror suspect and claiming responsibility for the carnage.
The author, claiming to be Noordin Mohammed Top, ‘leader of Tandsim Al Qaeda Indonesia’, attacked the Ritz as warning to Indonesians ‘against the arrival of the soccer club Manchester United’ at the hotel.
‘These players are Christians, so Muslims should not honour and respect these enemies of Allah,’ he wrote.
He also said Manchester United manager Alex Fergusson and his squad were targeted because they were ‘Crusaders’.
It is unknown whether the group knew the players were arriving a day after the blasts.
From the Telegraph:
The messages justified the attack on July 17, in which seven people died, as an attack on American interests and labelled Manchester United, which was due to book into one of the hotels, as “crusaders”.
It said the attack was a warning to Indonesians “against the arrival of the soccer club Manchester United” at the Ritz-Carlton.
“These players are Christians, so Muslims should not honour and respect these enemies of Allah,” it said.
The posting, which has not been independently verified, was purportedly written by Mohammed Noordin Top, South-East Asia’s most wanted man.
It referred to the “American chamber of commerce” as a target, apparently confirming that a breakfast meeting of Western businessmen at the Marriott, hosted by US lobbyist James Castle, was the focus of the attack.