Washington, Jan 7 (mb): The White House has dismissed al-Qaeda threats to attack President George W Bush during his Middle East trip, saying the radical Islamist group offers "nothing but death and violence."
"Al-Qaeda offers nothing but death and violence," said Gordon Johndroe, White House national security spokesman, who said that the President's visit this week seeks to "offer the ideology of hope" to "people who seek a better life."
In a message posted online today, an American member of al-Qaeda urged Islamist militants to target Bush "with bombs" during his trip to the Middle East starting Tuesday.
Bush should be welcomed "not with flowers and applause, but with bombs and car bombs," said al-Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn, a convert to Islam who has been indicted for treason by a US jury.
He also reportedly tore up his passport on the video, which drew a scornful reaction from the White House.
"I would note that this guy is wanted for treason and does not need his passport," Johndroe said.
The video message is the first al-Qaeda warning of 2008, and follows a message from the network's chief Osama bin Laden on December 30, 2007 in which he warned Muslims against supporting Iraq's US-backed government and promised the "liberation of Palestine."
The bulk of the 50-minute tape attributed to Gadahn is in English, although the call to bomb the US president is made in Arabic.