Al-Qaeda in Yemen claims responsibility for Paris attack

Updated 15 January 2015
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Al-Qaeda in Yemen claims responsibility for Paris attack

DUBAI: Al-Qaeda in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, saying it was ordered by the Islamist militant group’s leadership for insulting Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), according to a video posted on YouTube.
“As for the blessed Battle of Paris, we, the Organization of Al-Qaeda al Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula, claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the Messenger of God,” said Nasser bin Ali Al-Ansi, a leader of the Yemeni branch of Al-Qaeda (AQAP) in the recording.
Gunmen killed a total of 17 people in three days of violence that began when they opened fire at Charlie Hebdo in revenge for its past publication of satirical images of the Prophet.
Ansi, the main ideologue for AQAP, said the “one who chose the target, laid the plan and financed the operation is the leadership of the organization,” without naming an individual.
He added without elaborating that the strike was carried out in “implementation” of the order of overall Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahri, who has called for strikes by Muslims in the West using any means they can find.
AQAP itself is led by Nasser Al-Wuhayshi, who is also Zawahri’s number two in the network’s global hierarchy.
“We did it in compliance with the command of Allah and supporting His Messenger, peace be upon Him,” Ansi added.
It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the recording, which carried the logo of the Al-Qaeda’s media group Al-Malahem.
The first edition of Charlie Hebdo published after last week’s attacks sold out within minutes at newspaper kiosks around France on Wednesday, with people queuing up to buy copies to support the satirical weekly.

(Reporting by Sami Aboudi and Yara Bayoumy)


Palestine, Egypt offer air support as Israel battles wildfires

A firefighting aircraft flies over a forest near Kibbutz Harel, which was damaged by wildfires during a record heatwave, in Israel May 24, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 May 2019
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Palestine, Egypt offer air support as Israel battles wildfires

  • Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes on Thursday as fires raged
  • The fires were fueled by high temperatures and dry condition

JERUSALEM: Egypt and four European countries sent aircraft to help Israel battle wildfires that have forced the evacuation of some small towns, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday, as a record heatwave looked set to worsen conditions.
At an emergency briefing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had appealed for international help to combat the fires, and that firefighting planes were coming in from Greece, Croatia, Italy and Cyprus.
Egypt, on the orders of President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi, had also sent two helicopters to assist Israel, Netanyahu told reporters.
The Palestinian Authority and Russia had also offered help, Netanyahu said.
Israel braced for wildfires on Friday amid a major heat wave that shows no signs of abating.
Israel “really appreciates” the help, Netanyahu said, singling out El-Sisi for sending aid.
“I am deeply thankful for the readiness of neighbors to help us in a time of crisis, just as we help them,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service said blazes in a key corridor between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were mostly under control but difficult weather remained a conflagration risk.
“As of this moment, this (containment) is being done in the best possible way, but the challenge is yet ahead of us given the weather conditions, the winds and the extreme heat,” Netanyahu said.
Some 3,500 residents of small towns in the path of the fires were evacuated on Thursday, officials said. Dozens of homes have burned down.

Evacuations
Thousands of people were evacuated from towns and dozens of homes were burned on Thursday as fires raged, fueled by high temperatures and dry conditions. Over 500 acres of woodland have burned, said Nitai Zecharya, an Israeli official from the Jewish National Fund, known for planting forests in the country.
Zecharya said that while firefighters had brought most of the blaze under control, officials remained “very stressed” about strong winds fanning flames and “spreading fires to other fronts.”
The cause of the fires remains unclear, but they erupted following the Jewish festival of Lag Ba’Omer, which observers mark with bonfires.
A sweltering heat wave is pushing temperatures in parts of the country up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, or 43 Celsius.