Charlie Hebdo: Al-Qaeda in Yemen claims it ordered attack in line with Osama bin Laden's 'warnings'

The terrorist group claimed the massacre was revenge for Prophet cartoons

Lizzie Dearden
Friday 09 January 2015 22:14 GMT
Firefighters carry an injured man on a stretcher in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris
Firefighters carry an injured man on a stretcher in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris

Al-Qaeda in Yemen has claimed it directed the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in line with "warnings" made by Osama bin Laden before his death.

A member of the terrorist network told the Associated Press: "The leadership of AQAP directed the operations and they have chosen their target carefully.”

He claimed the attack was in line with warnings from the late al-Qaeda leader bin Laden to the West about “the consequences of the persistence in the blasphemy against Muslim sanctities” .

Bin Laden was shot dead by US Navy seals in a raid on his compound in Pakistan on 2 May 2011.

Osama bin Laden (Getty)

There was an unusually long delay in the claim following the Charlie Hebdo attack on Wednesday, which the spokesman said was for “security reasons.”

The brothers who launched the attack, mowing down journalists during their morning editorial meeting, had already claimed they were backed by al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Cherif Kouachi told French television station BFMTV he was commissioned and funded by the group and been trained by Imam Anwar Al Awaki, an American al-Qaeda mastermind who was killed by a US drone in September 2011.

The group, formed in 2009 as a merger between the terror group's Yemeni and Saudi branches, has been blamed for a string of unsuccessful bomb plots against American targets.

These include a foiled plan to down a Detroit-bound flight in 2009 using a new type of explosive hidden in the bomber's underwear, and another attempt a year later to send mail bombs hidden in printer cartridges on planes bound to the US from the Gulf.

Kouachi and his brother, Said Kouachi, were killed by French police today as during a gunfight as they came out of a print works in Dammartin where they had been besieged with a hostage.

Amedy Coulibaly, an associate of the pair who killed four hostages at a Kosher supermarket in Paris, claimed he had co-ordinated his attack with the brothers but said he was from Isis and taking instructions from the "Caliphate".

Additional reporting by AP

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