A region wing of al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for failed Christmas Day attempt to detonate a US passenger plane, saying that it was intended to avenge US attacks on the group in Yemen, said a web statement posted on Monday.
After the failed bid turned the spotlight on the poor Arab country, the group threatened Americans to expect more strikes.
The US and Saudi Arabia, which neighbours Yemen, suspect that al-Qaida will use instability in the country to execute attacks in the world’s principal oil exporting country.
In a statement posted on Islamist websites, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said that it had provided the Nigerian suspect with a ‘technically advanced device’ but it failed to detonate due to a technical snag.
The group claimed that the attack was meant to take revenge for recent raids on its militants that was carried out by US jets and had even caused many civilian deaths.
“We tell the American people that since you support the leaders who kill our women and children … we have come to slaughter you (and) will strike you with no previous (warning), our vengeance is near,” the statement said.
The Yemeni government said that it carried out military raids on Dec. 17, in which more than 30 al Qaeda members were killed, and another on Dec. 24.
However, opposition groups said that nearly 50 civilians were killed, women and children of them.
The ‘New York Times’ has said that Washington gave hardware, intelligence and other support to Yemeni forces for the raids.
“We call on all Muslims … to throw out all unbelievers from the Arabian Peninsula by killing crusaders who work in embassies or elsewhere … (in) a total war on all crusaders in the Peninsula of (Prophet) Mohammad,” the statement said.
Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is charged with trying to blow up a Delta Airlines plane as it approached Detroit on a flight from Amsterdam with almost 300 people on board.
Besides al Qaeda, Yemen is also grappling with a Shi’ite revolt in the north and a separatist movement in the south with both complaining of social and economic discrimination, something the government denies.