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UK Muslims named as terror targets
Scotland Yard is investigating a video apparently made by Somali militant group al-Shabab after British Muslims who have spoken out against extremism were named as targets.
The hour-long film, narrated by an unidentified man with a British accent, reportedly praises acts of Islamist terrorism and starts by hailing the killing of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south east London.
The video singles out British Muslim commentator Mohammed Ansar as one of those who "distanced themselves" from those who carried out the attacks and as having "mutilated the teachings of Islam", according to reports.
He is one of a number of prominent Muslims to claim police have issued warnings to following credible evidence of potential threats against them.
The imam and broadcaster Ajmal Masroor wrote on his Facebook page that two Metropolitan police detectives arrived at his home on Wednesday night to warn he was "in imminent danger from the terrorists."
"The police officers were visiting me to give me a warning and asking me to be more vigilant," he wrote.
"As soon as they left my house I started digging further and found an al-Shabab video has been uploaded on the internet and in it they name me as a Muslim who is an enemy of Islam and should be eliminated.
"They name a few others in their video message and encourage people to resort to using knives to behead people like me."
Writing on Twitter, Mr Ansar said: "Nice visit from the police at midnight to talk to me about the fact I'm in the latest al shabab terror video. Erm, as a potential target."
He tweeted later: "More security briefings following threat by Al-Shabaab (sic) against me and a number of prominent figures."
Muslim commentator Mohammed Shafiq also tweeted: "I was also visited by the police and told of threats made against me."
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We are aware of the video and we are assessing its contents and looking into it."
The spokesman confirmed a number of individuals have been spoken to following the video's release.
At least 67 people died, including six Britons, when suspected al-Shabab militants stormed Kenya's Westgate shopping centre last month.
Al-Shabab is fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia and is banned as a terrorist group by both the US and the UK.
The Islamist group, which is believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters, controls large parts of Somalia.