Al-Qaeda in Yemen on Charlie Attack: It Was Us
But subsequent violence was coincidental, statement says
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 14, 2015 6:30 AM CST
People run by a kiosk with a poster reading "I Am Charlie" on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southeastern France, Jan. 14, 2015.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
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(Newser) – Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack in an online video called "Vengeance for the Prophet: A Message Regarding the Blessed Battle of Paris," the New York Times reports. The group says it "chose the target, laid the plan, and financed the operation" in "a vengeance for the messenger of Allah"—a likely reference to Charlie Hebdo's parodies of the Prophet Muhammad. But while AQAP called the Kouachi brothers "two heroes of Islam," it suggests it wasn't behind the attacks that followed, including on a kosher supermarket.

Gunman Amedy Coulibaly's actions were a coincidence, the statement says, calling him simply a "mujahid brother." The Charlie Hebdo attackers claimed to be working for AQAP, while Coulibaly has pledged support for ISIS, the BBC notes. The statement, made by AQAP leader Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, says the attack was an "implementation" of orders from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of the larger al-Qaeda group, Reuters reports. The video also featured an image of the Eiffel Tower dissolving, the Times reports. Meanwhile, today's issue of Charlie Hebdo sold out in minutes.