LAGOS - U.S. and other Western interests in Nigeria are at risk of "terrorist attack," the United States embassy in Africa's top oil producer said on Thursday.

The official warning, in a message for U.S. citizens in Nigeria, gave few details, but said potential targets included official and commercial installations in the capital Abuja and the commercial city of Lagos.

Comment: Be afraid, very afraid!

"The U.S. Mission in Nigeria has received information that U.S. and other Western interests in Nigeria are currently at risk for terrorist attack," the statement said.

A private security consultant said he had also received a similar warning from the U.S. embassy which stated that the threat was seen until mid-October.

Comment: These warnings are not unlike certain astrology readings, where the influence of such and such a planet is having an influence for certain time period. Maybe the stars is where the propaganda arm gets their inspiration from to issue these warnings.

Militant attacks on multi-billion dollar Western oil facilities in the Niger Delta are common, but there has never been any large scale terrorist attack on Western targets outside the Niger Delta in the far south of the country.

Nigeria's Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe berated foreign diplomats on Wednesday over what he said were excessive concerns voiced by their countries about insecurity in the delta.

The U.S. and other Western states had warned their citizens against travel to the lawless region, where attacks have cut a fifth of Nigeria's oil production capacity since early 2006.

Nigeria's 140 million people are roughly equally split between Christians mostly in the south and Muslims in the north.

They co-exist peacefully most of the time but thousands have died in sporadic sectarian clashes since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 after nearly three decades of army rule.

Analysts said the alert on Nigeria, which is the fifth largest oil supplier to the United States, could be related to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

"Any 'Kenya-Tanzania' type attacks in Nigeria will further exacerbate the country's risk profile and raise operating costs for Western energy companies operating there," said Sebastian Spio-Garbrah of Eurasia Group.

Washington had previously said Nigeria was a natural target for terrorists looking to expand their operations because the allure of radical Islam was attracting many Nigerians.

In 2003 al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden included Nigeria in a list of six countries he said he wanted to see liberated from enslavement to Washington.

Shortly after bin Laden's comment, a little-known group called the Nigerian Taliban launched a series of armed attacks on police stations and government buildings in the remote northeast states of Yobe and Borno in late 2003 and early 2004.

Comment: Another name for this little-known group is Western intelligence regional destabilization force. Their activity shortly after the bin Laden show, should also make it obvious who is behind the bogus bin Laden statements.

This prompted a military crackdown in which at least 20 people were killed. The Taliban, who said they wanted an Islamic state in Nigeria, have hardly been heard of since.