Celebrity chefs Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver have received an email threat from the "Cornwall National Liberation Army" (CNLA) saying the separatist group will "strike at the heart" of their restaurants at Padstow and nearby Watergate Bay.
According to the Western Morning News, police are taking "very seriously" the organisation's pledge to firebomb Stein's premises and target Oliver's charitable Fifteen venture. It blames both "incomers" for "the inflation of house and other living costs at Cornish expense", and "alienating" local people.
The email, signed by the CNLA Directing Council, was apparently sent via an Egypt-based website, and claims the group has "substantial funding" from the US and other countries and has drafted in the incendiary expertise of a Welsh nationalist.
It promises to purge Cornwall of the "imperialist" English flag, and lists its "operational objectives", beginning with: "Padstow (Padstein) and Rick Stein Operated Businesses".
It continues: "It is common knowledge that Rick Stein and his businesses are held in contempt by many Cornish nationals who live in the Padstow area and we are currently seeing Stein ride over local democracy."
To mock Stein's claim that local businesses have "benefited from the 'rosy glow' of publicity his ventures have attracted", the email adds: "One of our activists was a member of the Free Wales Army who were responsible for the burning of English holiday homes in that Country creating for the Imperialists another 'rosy glow' from the heat of the fires.
"At a unspecified date, Rick Stein will himself feel a 'rosy glow' in our Cornish port of Padstow. His vehicles and those of his clients and customers are also bona fide targets for our activists."
Regarding Oliver, the CNLA continues: "Another incomer who has caused the inflation of house and other living costs at Cornish expense and subsidised by European funding who, together with his clients and customers and the owners of the hotel, are also targets of the CNLA."
The CNLA is a newly-formed alliance of An Gof - "a secretive group which claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in the 1980s, notably on St Austell courthouse" and the Cornish Liberation Army. The email explains:
"At a recent joint meeting, members and financial supporters of the An Gof militant organisation (founded 1980 and reformed 2007) and the Cornish Liberation Army agreed to dissolve their respective organisations and to combine all resources and reform as the Cornish National Liberation Army (CNLA). Substantial funding has been received to continue what have previously been low-key activities with donors from the other Celtic nations as well as the United States.
"The previous low-key operations by those former organisations will be incorporated into the CNLA programme such as the removal of the Imperialistic and racist English flag of St George (white with a red cross) wherever it is flown in Cornwall (Kernow) as has already occurred on Bodmin Moor cafes (where they have been replaced correctly by St Piran Flags) and at Tresillian. Graffitti [sic] operations may also continue."
Police have, the Western Morning News reports, assembled a task force to probe the matter. Chief Constable Stephen Otter said: "We would look at what lies behind the threat and then we would put things in place to prevent anything happening." ®