Al-Qaida militants based in Yemen are threatening to kidnap princes, ministers and Christians in Saudi Arabia to pressure the government to release a female operative arrested by Saudi authorities.
Television stations and an Islamist website released an audio message Thursday attributed to the group, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
In the message, an al-Qaida regional commander calls on supporters in Saudi Arabia to carry out the abductions to secure the release of the operative, Heila al-Qsayer, who is the widow of an al-Qaida militant killed six years ago. News agencies say she helped recruit al-Qaida members.
Yemen intensified its campaign against the militant group after al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the failed bombing of a U.S.-bound passenger jet last year.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.