Al Qaeda claims responsibility for failed Christmas Day bomb plot

December 28, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Al-Qaida seized the opportunity today, to take responsibility for the attack on a Northwest bound for Detroit on Christmas Day, claiming it was in retaliation for a U.S. operation against the group in Yemen, according to monitor SITE Intelligence. In a statement posted on radical Islamist Web sites, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula said 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab coordinated with members of the group, an alliance of militants based in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.  In the statement, the group hailed the “brother” who carried out the “heroic attack.” The group said it tested a “new kind of explosives” in the attack, and hailed the fact that the explosives “passed through security.” Abdulmutallab told investigators that he trained for a month with the terrorist group in Yemen, where he was given the underwear with 80 grams of explosives sewed in.

We’re ascertaining why it was that he was not flagged in a more specific way when he purchased his ticket, given the information that we think was available, allegedly was available,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN’s “American Morning” Monday.

The news comes as, The New York Times reported today that “the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against al Qaeda in Yemen.” A year ago, the CIA sent several of its top counterterrorism operatives to the country, and Special Operations commandos have begun training Yemeni security forces in counterterrorism tactics. In late summer, Gen. David Petraeus even made a secret visit to the country. This month Yemeni forces, helped by U.S. intelligence, carried out two airstrikes against al-Qaida operatives in the country. The second one was a day before Abdulmutallab attempted to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight as it prepared to land in Detroit. Dozens of militants are reported to have died in the attacks. Over the next 18 months, the Pentagon will spend more than $70 million in the country.

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