"Targeting oil interests includes production wells, export pipelines, oil terminals and tankers and that can reduce US oil inventory, forcing it to take decisions it has been avoiding for a long time and confuse and strangle its economy," the al-Qaeda publication said.

 

The group was behind a failed February 2006 attack on the Abqaiq oil facility in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil processing plant.

 

Reaction

 

A Canadian minister said the al-Qaeda group's message was being regarded with importance. 

 

"We take the threat seriously. We've always said that we're not immune to possibilities of terrorism"

Stockwell Day, Canadian public safety minister

"We take the threat seriously. We've always said that we're not immune to possibilities of terrorism," Stockwell Day, public safety minister, said.

 

Canada is the biggest exporter of crude oil to the United States, followed by Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

 

In Mexico, Maximiliano Cortazar, a presidential spokesman, said that the government was trying to confirm the veracity of the threat.

 

The al-Qaeda group also vowed new attacks in Saudi Arabia.

 

"For some time now, we have been preparing some quality attacks which will shake the foundations of the crusaders [Westerners] in the Arabian Peninsula," said the magazine, after a nearly two-year absence following a Saudi clampdown.

 

Al Qaeda leaders have repeatedly called for attacks on oil installations to block supplies to the West, for what they see as a US-led war against Islam.