US: Qaeda sent video claiming Charlie Hebdo attacks

AFP , Wednesday 14 Jan 2015

An Al-Qaeda video claiming responsibility for the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo was "authentic" but US officials are yet to confirm the details of links between the killers and the global jihadist network, a State Department spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"I got a note from my colleagues in the intelligence community who have assessed that the AQAP video claiming responsibility for last week's attack against Charlie Hebdo is authentic," Marie Harf said.

In a video entitled "A message regarding the blessed battle of Paris", Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said it had financed and plotted the assault on the weekly that left 12 people dead.

The perpetrators of the attack, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, are known to have trained with Al-Qaeda in Yemen, which was formed in 2009 after a merger between militants in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Harf said US intelligence was still attempting to pinpoint which individuals may have been involved with the Kouachis.

"We are still looking at every piece of information to determine exactly the links here between the attackers and AQAP, particularly specific members of AQAP (...) That investigation is clearly ongoing," Harf said.

AQAP said in its video the orders to carry out last week's attack had come from the very top of the global jihadist network -- Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian doctor who succeeded Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden after his death in 2011.

"We, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the messenger of Allah," Nasser al-Ansi, one of AQAP's chiefs, said in the video.

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