Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood have been targeted by members of an Arab-American civil rights group who allege their movie American Sniper has led to an increase in threats made against Muslims living in the U.S.

Members of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (Adc) have written to the film's director, Eastwood, and its star, Cooper, asking them to speak out against the threats which have allegedly made on social networking sites.

The film is based on the true story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who served in Iraq from 2003 until 2009, and in a statement the Adc suggests the "majority of the violent threats we have seen over the past few days are result of how Arab and Muslims are depicted in American Sniper, adding, "(There have been) hundreds of violent messages targeting Arab and Muslim Americans from movie-goers."

Adc president Samer Khalaf writes in the letter to Eastwood and Cooper, "Your visibility, influence, and connection to the film would be a tremendous force in drawing attention to and lessening the serious dangers facing the respective communities."

The film became a box office hit in the U.S. following its release earlier this month (Jan15), and it is up for the Best Picture Oscar at next month's (Feb15) Academy Awards, while Cooper is nominated for Best Actor.