Al Qaeda in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, describing the massacre that left 12 dead as the "blessed Battle of Paris".
In a video released by the Yemeni branch of al Qaeda (AQAP) this morning, spokesman Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi said: "As for the blessed Battle of Paris, we, the Organisation of al Qaeda al Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula, claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the Messenger of God."The 11-minute video warns that the killings last Wednesday marked "a new turning point in the history of confrontation", and poured scorn on the millions who marched across the world on Sunday in solidarity with those who lost their lives. As video of the marches plays in the background, al-Ansi says: "Look how they gathered, rallied and supported each other. Strengthening their wounds."He then warns: "Those wounds have not healed and they won't, be it in Paris, New York or Washington or in London or Spain, or in Palestine the legend of glory and pride."
He describes the Charlie Hebdo gunmen Said and Cherif Kouachi as "heroes of Islam" - as pictures of their victims are screened in the background - before adding: "It was tawfeeq from Allah that the operation coincided with the operation Mujahid brother Ahmed Koulibali [Amedy Coulibaly] - may have Allah have mercy on him." In another message to the Western world, he adds: "We have warned you before about the consequences of these deeds that your government collude with under the pretext of freedom of press' or 'freedom of ideas'.""Sheikh Usama bin Laden warned you before: 'If there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your heart be open to the freedom of our actions.""Stop your insults on our Prophet and sanctities. Stop spilling our blood. Leave our lands. Quit plundering our resources."
Watch the video here (Mirror uk)