Published July 27, 2009
| London Times
Sacha Baron Cohen has stepped up his security after being threatened by a terrorist organization that is angered at its portrayal in the film "Bruno."
The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a coalition of Palestinian militias in the West Bank, said it was “very upset” that it featured in the film starring Baron Cohen’s homosexual fashionista alter ego.
Baron Cohen’s Austrian character ridicules the terrorist group when he attempts to get himself kidnapped during a meeting with Ayman Abu Aita, who is identified in the film as the leader of the Martyrs’ Brigades.
The London-born actor is reportedly taking the threat seriously and has improved security arrangements for himself and his family in preparation for violent reprisals.
The Martyrs’ Brigades has issued a statement to a Jerusalem-based journalist including a veiled threat against Baron Cohen, 37. “We reserve the right to respond in the way we find suitable against this man,” it said. “The movie was part of a conspiracy against the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.”
The group condemned the use of the interview with Mr Abu Aita. “According to what we checked there was was no meeting about the real context of the film,” the statement said. “This was a dirty use of our brother, Ayman, and we don’t accept that the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is part of the film.”