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Al-Qaeda in Yemen claims responsibility for Charlie Hebdo attack

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claims the network's global leader Ayman Al Zawahri ordered the Charlie Hebdo attack.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claims the network's global leader Ayman Al Zawahri ordered the Charlie Hebdo attack. Reuters

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed it planned and financed last week's attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in a video posted online on Wednesday.

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The claim came one week after brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi attacked the magazine's Paris office and killed 12 people.

"We, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the messenger of Allah," one of the group's leaders, Nasser al-Ansi, said in reference to the magazine's publications of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

Click for RFI reports of the Charlie Hebdo killings

Ansi claimed in the video that AQAP chose the target and financed the attack, which he said was carried out on orders from the network's global commander, Ayman Zawahiri.

Chérif Kouachi claimed to be on a mission from AQAP in an exchange with French television station BFM-TV on Friday, a few hours before he and his brother died in a police raid.

Investigators have been rebuildin the itinerary of the Kouachi brothers, who are suspected of having undergone paramilitary training in Yemen in 2011.

AQAP also threatened France with future attacks in the denouement of last week's hostage situations.

Amedy Coulibaly, the suspect in Friday's attack on a kosher supermarket which was coordinated with the Kouachi brothers, claimed in turn to be a member of the Islamic State armed group.

The group said Wednesday that Charlie Hebdo's decision to publish a new cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed was "extremely stupid".

"Charlie Hebdo has again published cartoons insulting the prophet and this is an extremely stupid act," said a statement read on Al-Bayan radio, which is broadcast in areas under the group's control in Syria and Iraq.
 

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