Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed “credit” for the failed attack on the Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day, claiming that the attempted terrorist attack was retaliation for the December 17 airstrike against al Qaeda in Yemen.
Or in their words, “The oneness of our belief and brotherhood in Islam is what protected our young Nigerian man, the mujahid brother Omar Al Farouq to directly respond to his oppressive American enemy’s attack on the Arab Peninsula.”
A senior administration official rejects entirely the idea that the attempted attack was retaliatory, pointing out that Omar Abdulmutallab was in the field long before that airstrike. (He purchased his plane ticket in Ghana the day before, in fact, and had been in Yemen for months before.)
“He had been deployed before December 17,” the official said. “They’d like to make this seem like retaliation, but the reason they tried to blow up the plane is because they have a hateful, murderous agenda. And that’s why we’re on the forward lean against them.”