Al Qaeda-Linked Group Says It's Behind Plane Bomb

Al-Shabab claims the attack 'struck terror in the hearts of the crusaders'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2016 10:00 AM CST
On Saturday, the militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that failed to bring down a passenger jet last week in Somalia.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – The al Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab announced Saturday it was behind the suicide bomb that failed to bring down a passenger jet last week in Somalia, Reuters reports. On Feb. 2, one of the 74 passengers aboard a Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti detonated a bomb, putting a large hole in the side of the plane but allowing it to make an emergency landing. The suspected bomber was the only person killed, likely having been blown out of the plane by the explosion. According to an al-Shabab statement, it "carried out the airborne operation as a retribution for the crimes committed by the coalition of Western crusaders and their intelligence agencies against the Muslims of Somalia."

The militant group believes the attack was a success despite its failure to bring down the plane because it "struck terror in the hearts of the crusaders," Al Jazeera quotes a statement from al-Shabab. The group, which aims to overthrow the Somali government, states the bombing was only one part of an attack on "dozens of Western intelligence officials and Turkish NATO forces." Al-Shabab claiming responsibility for the bomb confirms earlier US suspicions. It appears the suicide bomber was actually meant to board a Turkish Airlines flight, but it was canceled due to bad weather. The bomber is believed to have used a wheelchair to smuggle the bomb past security, which the flight's pilot claims is "zero" at the Mogadishu airport.

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