UAE says investigating Qaeda claim for UPS plane crash

  • World
  • Saturday, 06 Nov 2010

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates aviation authority is investigating a claim by Al Qaeda that it was behind the September crash of a UPS plane in Dubai, but has found no link so far, an official said on Saturday.

"So far we have no evidence that links the UPS plane crash with a terror attack. There is no evidence of explosives on board," Saif al-Suwaidi, director general of the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority, told Reuters by telephone.

"That does not mean we will not take this claim seriously. We are investigating the claim," he added.

Al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing -- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) -- claimed responsibility on Friday for the UPS plane crash in Dubai, in which two crew members died, and for a foiled plot to send explosive parcels to the United States last week.

"The main evidence we have is that there was no change in pressure inside the airplane (and) I do not think this is possible if there was an explosion as there (would be) sudden pressure change," said Suwaidi.

"Evidence shows that there was an onboard fire but no explosion," he added.

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

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Writing by Tamara Walid; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

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