Belfast Telegraph

Friday 4 September 2015

Al Qaida bomb threat days before jet attack

Published 27/12/2009

An al Qaida operative in Yemen threatened the US
An al Qaida operative in Yemen threatened the US

An al Qaida operative in Yemen threatened the US and said "we are carrying a bomb" in an online video four days before the botched Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight.

The video does not contain any clear evidence that the speaker was anticipating Friday's attempt, but it has attracted scrutiny because of reports that the bomb plot may have originated in Yemen.

The 23-year-old Nigerian man accused in the attack claimed he received training and instructions from al Qaida operatives there, US law enforcement officials said, and a key American politician has said there are "strong suggestions" of a Yemen connection.

In a December 21 video, the al Qaida operative delivered a eulogy for militants killed in a Yemeni airstrike on a militant training camp four days earlier. The speaker said he had no agenda against Yemeni soldiers, but warned them against co-operating with Americans.

"We are carrying a bomb to hit the enemies of God," the speaker says.

"O soldiers, you should learn that we do not want to fight you, nor do we have an issue with you. We only have an issue with America and its agents, and beware of standing in the ranks of America," he says.

"You should not defend these regimes. The soldiers and even Obama cannot put out the light of Islam."

The video was posted on extremist websites affiliated with al Qaida. The websites identified the speaker as Mohammed al-Kalwi, an al Qaida activist reportedly killed in another airstrike on Thursday.

The video showed the bearded militant, wearing a headdress and green military-style jacket over a long Arab robe, addressing a group of armed followers as he stood on top of a car. The followers repeatedly interrupted the address with calls of "God is great".

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