Users on several Al-Qaeda-linked websites have posted the name and photo of the former Navy SEAL identified as the author of the forthcoming book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and are calling for his "destruction," NBC News reported.
According to NBC, one website that featured revenge death threats was "Al-Fidda," which Al-Qaeda uses to distribute messages to the media.
The photo appears to show a special operations soldier holding an automatic rifle during a training exercise, NBC reported. It was not clear where the photo came from.
“No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden," is set to be released Sept. 11 under the name Mark Owens, a pseudonym for "one of the first men through the door" to bin Laden's third-floor hideout in the Abottabad, Pakistan compound. Fox News was the first to publish the former SEAL's name. TheBlaze has chosen not to identify him.
Book publisher Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), asked news organizations on Thursday not to publish his identity, citing risks to his personal security.
"Sharing the true story of his personal experience in 'No Easy Day' is a courageous act in the face of obvious risks to his personal security," Dutton spokeswoman Christine Ball told the Associated Press. "That personal security is the sole reason the book is being published under a pseudonym."
Defense and White House officials have said they were not given the chance to review the book and vet it for possible classified information, opening the author up to potential legal action as well.
In a letter to the active-duty special operations community Thursday, special operations chief and four-star commander Adm. Bill McRaven vowed to take legal action against anyone found to have exposed sensitive information.
"We will pursue every option available to hold members accountable, including criminal prosecution where appropriate," McRaven in the open and unclassified letter, obtained by the AP.