Paris, January 10: Al Qaeda’s Yemeni arm has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, saying the shooting was an operation to teach the French the limits of freedom of expression, a media report said on Saturday.
A senior member of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Abu Hareth al–Nezari, made the claim in an audio recording published online late Friday, Al jazeera reported on Saturday.
"Some French were not polite with the prophets and that was the reason why a few of the believers, who loved Allah and his prophet and loved martyrdom, went to them to teach them how to behave and how to be polite with the prophets and to teach them that the freedom of expression has limits and boundaries," al–Nezari said in the recording.
He also warned that France would not enjoy security unless it stopped what he called a "war" on Islam.
Wednesday’s attack on the magazine’s office, that left 12 people dead, followed by a double hostage crisis, have shocked France and triggered a massive seucity operation.
Cherif Kouachi, one of the two Kouachi brothers, suspects in the Charlie Hebdo attack, declared to BFMTV Friday morning he was sent by Al Qaeda Yemen, Xinhua reported.
He said this when BFMTV contacted him when he was holed up in a printing company office at Dammartin–en–Goele, northeast of Paris.
The other attacker and Cherif’s brother, Said, claimed to have been trained and finced by the Al Qaeda in Yemen.
Yemeni intelligence officials confirmed to Al Jazeera that Said had indeed been in Yemen in 2011, fighting with Al Qaeda, and had been deported.
If confirmed, the attack would be the first time AQAP has successfully carried out an operation in the West after at least two earlier attempts. The group is considered the most active and dangerous branch of Al Qaeda.
AQAP previously made attempts to attract supporters in the West, including launching an online magazine. It has also called on individuals to carry out attacks independently –– referred to as "lone wolf" attacks.
Said, 32, and his 34–year–old brother Cherif were killed in a security operation in Paris on Friday. IANS