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Conservative Facebook post on West Edmonton Mall threat 'troubling,' Alberta MLA says

03/04/2015 10:34 EST | Updated 05/04/2015 05:59 EDT
An Alberta Progressive Conservative MLA says a new post on the the federal Conservative Party Facebook page that highlights an apparent terror threat against West Edmonton Mall issued by Somalia-based militants is troubling "on so many different levels."

Thomas Lukaszuk tweeted the comment on Tuesday night in response to the Conservatives' Facebook entry posted Monday night.

The post uses a screenshot and quote taken from a video posted to YouTube last month by the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabaab, who were behind a brutal attack on Kenya's Westgate Mall in 2013 that left 60 people dead.

Near the end of the new video, which runs just over an hour in total, a masked man with an English accent urges followers to launch similar assaults on shopping malls in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada, and named West Edmonton Mall as a potential target.

"Jihadi terrorists are threatening Canada — we need to give our police and security forces the tools they need to protect us from the threat of terrorism." The Facebook post invites supporters to "add your name if you agree," with a link to a petition on the Conservative Party website.

In a response to Vitor Marciano, a former federal Conservative policy chair and one-time Wild Rose press secretary, Lukaszuk defended his view:

"Aside from questionable campaign tactic, why would a governing party ask to be petitioned for added police funding?" he wondered.

Earlier this year, both the federal Conservatives and their Liberal rivals were forced to perform hasty edits on their respective party webpages after a link at the top of their pages made it appear both were attempting to raise money on the Oct. 22 attacks in Ottawa.

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