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Al-Qaeda in Yemen admits responsibility for Charlie Hebdo attack

Top leader of al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula says in a video released on Wednesday that Yemen’s al-Qaeda ordered last week’s deadly attack on French satirical magazine. He also warns the West of more “tragedies and terror”.

Thus, according to Al Jazeera, Nasr al-Ansi, a top leader of Yemen’s al-Qaeda branch, appeared in an 11-minute video posted online on Wednesday, saying that the massacre at Charlie Hebdo – when two masked gunmen killed 12 people, including much of the weekly’s editorial staff and two police officers – was in “vengeance for the prophet”.

Al-Ansi also said that France belongs to the “party of Satan” and warned of more “tragedies and terror”. He said that Yemen’s al-Qaida branch “chose the target, laid out the plan and financed the operation”.

The paper had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which is considered an insult to Islam.

“We, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the messenger of Allah,” Ansi said in the video. According to The Independent, the video, entitled “A message regarding the Blessed Battle of Paris”, was released via the Al-Malahem Media arm of the group.

Ansi referenced a warning by the late chief of Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US commandos in May 2011. “If the freedom of your speech is not restrained, then you should accept the freedom of our actions,” he said.

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has published on Wednesday its first issue since the attack on its office last week, featuring what they say is a depiction of Prophet Muhammad.

The newspaper unapologetically skewered other religions as well in its latest publication released on Wednesday, and bragged that Sunday’s turnout of a million people at a march in Paris to condemn terrorism was larger “than for mass”.

All 700,000 issues of the magazine distributed across France on Wednesday morning sold out just hours after it hit newsstands. At least five million copies of the magazine will be made available throughout the week.

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