Al-Qaida threatens Obama's step-grandmother

May 12, 2011 11:18:11 AM PDT
Al-Qaida is making threats against President Obama's extended family in Kenya in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

Security has been increased substantially outside the Kenyan home of the president's step-grandmother, Sarah Obama.

Known as "Mamma Sarah" or "Granny," Sarah Obama is now in her late 80's. Kenyan authorities tell ABC News her family compound there is now under heavy, 24 hour security after al-Shabaab, the Somali branch of al-Qaida, threatened her life.

It is one of more than a dozen specific threats that have followed the U.S. killing of Osama Bin Laden.

In that raid, Navy Seals captured a treasure trove of thumb drives, CDs and papers, some of which contained Osama bin Laden's personal journal.

According to U.S. officials, bin Laden remained obsessed with outdoing the 9/11 attacks and killing as many Americans as possible.

It also shows bin Laden wanted al-Qaida to "spread out" its attacks to include not just in big cities, but in smaller cities and rail lines that would be easier targets.

"It makes it more difficult for us to track because we are looking for more symbolic locations," said former FBI agent and consultant Brad Garrett.

In New York City overnight, police say they arrested two Muslim men of North African descent who were attempting to buy AK.-47s and hand grenades as part of a plan to attack synagogues in the city.

It appears the plot was under way well before the death of bin Laden, however, and not in retaliation.