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Al Qaeda claims Charlie Hebdo attacks

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Al Qaeda claims Charlie Hebdo attacks
Nasser al-Ansi, one of the chiefs of Al Qaeda in the Arabic peninsula (AQAP) has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
10:45 CET+01:00
UPDATED: Al Qaeda in Yemen released a new video on Wednesday claiming responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. The video was released the same day the first edition of the newspaper produced since the attacks sold out across France.

Previously one of the gunmen Cherif Kouachi, had claimed when speaking to French TV, that he had been sent by Al Qaeda in Yemen, but up until today the group had not officially claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Al-Qaeda in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo in a video posted online, saying it was "vengeance" for the French weekly's cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. 

"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 the video, which is titled: "A message regarding the blessed battle of Paris." 

"Heroes were recruited and they have answered the call," he added.

And hours after the killings a top sharia official from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) threatened France with fresh attacks following those at the Charlie Hebdo magazine and at a Jewish supermarket, SITE monitoring group said last Friday.

"It is better for you to stop your aggression against the Muslims, so perhaps you will live safely. If you refuse but to wage war, then wait for the glad tiding," Harith al-Nadhari was quoted saying in a video.

He stopped short of claiming responsibility for the three days of Islamist bloodshed in France that left 17 people dead.

AQAP was formed in January 2009 as a merger of the Yemeni and Saudi branches of Al-Qaeda. Washington regards it as the worldwide jihadist network's most dangerous branch and has carried out a sustained drone war against its leaders.

Ansi said the attack was ordered by Ayman Zawahiri, the network's global commander.

"The leadership of (AQAP) was the party that chose the target and plotted and financed the plan... It was following orders by our general chief Ayman al-Zawahiri," he said.

Speaking over footage of the attack that killed 12 people, Ansi said:
 
"Today, the mujahideen avenge their revered prophet, and send the clearest message to everyone who would dare to attack Islamic sanctities."
 
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