Al Qaeda Yemen wing claims parcel plot, UPS crash

  • World
  • Saturday, 06 Nov 2010

DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing claimed responsibility for a foiled plot to send explosive parcels to the United States last week, and for the crash of a UPS jet in Dubai in September.

A statement that appeared on Islamist websites on Friday, attributed to Al Qaeda for Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), also vowed more strikes on the United States in comments addressed to President Barack Obama.

"We say to Obama, we have struck your jets three times in one year and we will continue, God willing, to strike the interests of America and its allies."

The statement also blamed Saudi Arabia for tipping off security services and allowing them to intercept the bombs, addressed to two Chicago synagogues, in Britain and Dubai last Friday. "Our devices were headed to Jewish Zionist temples but you intervened with your treachery to protect them," it said.

The militant group also claimed responsibility for the crash of an aircraft operated by the U.S. parcel delivery firm UPS, even though the United Arab Emirates' civil aviation authority said on Sunday that there was no evidence of an explosive device aboard the jet.

"Because the act was not attributed to us, we were able to wait until we could return and strike again," the AQAP statement said.

A UPS spokesman in the United States said the company had no independent verification of what caused its Germany-bound Boeing 747-400 plane to crash on Sept. 3, after the pilot reported fire and smoke in the cockpit.

"We certainly have no independent knowledge of these claims...we have to rely on investigators, and the investigators are telling us there was no bomb," he said.

(Reporting by Erika Solomon; Editing by David Stamp)

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