Bin Laden claims Yemen airliner plot
In an audio tape broadcast by al Jazeera today, al Qaeda leader Usama Bin Laden claimed credit for the failed plot to bomb an airliner as it was landing in Detroit, December 25. Bin Laden called the Nigerian perpetrator of the plot, Abdulmutallab Al-Farouq , “a hero” and said the plot was intended to send the same message as the attacks of 9/11. The authenticity of the tape has not been confirmed yet by US officials.
“America will not even dream of security, until security becomes a reality in Palestine. It is not fair that you enjoy your lives, while our brothers in Gaza live in hardship. Therefore, our raids against you will continue, Allah willing, as long as your support of the Israelis continues,” the Middle East Research Center reported.
The attack had earlier been claimed by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Nasir al Wahishi, a former lieutenant of bin Laden, is heading the terror group’s offshoot in Yemen. The group merged in January 2009 with al Qaeda’s Saudi branch. Saudi Said al Shihri is the military commander of the organization.
On January 19, the US State Department designated al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The group and two of its two top leaders Nasir al-Wahishi and Said al-Shihri were also designated under executive order number 13224. The UN’s 1267 committee also designated AQAP as a terrorist organization along with al Wahishi and al Shihir. As a result all UN member states are required to freezes their asserts, ban travel and embargo arms transfers to these entities.
Prior to being read his Miranda rights, Al Farouq claimed that he was trained by al Qaeda in Yemen and many other suicide bombers had undergone training in Yemen. The UK raised its terror threat level to “severe” in advance of a conference on Yemen scheduled for January 27 in London.