Terrorism: Al-Qaeda warns of 'dozens' of in-flight bombs

Sanaa, 18 Feb. (AKI) - Al-Qaeda has prepared "dozens" more bombs like the one used by the young Nigerian accused of trying to blow up an airliner in the United States on 25 December last year. The claim was allegedly made by the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terror cell in a message posted in its online magazine 'al-Malamih'.

"We have dozens of sophisticated explosive devices which are similar to that used by the Nigerian,Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on the Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit," said the message in 'al-Malamih'.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said in December it had provided Abdulmutallab with the explosive device he allegedly used to try to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 with nearly 300 people aboard.

"The plan was to blow up the plane as it approached Detroit, so that it would fall onto buildings below and kill the maximum number of Americans," the message said.

Had it succeeded, it would have been the worst attack on the United States since Al-Qaeda's September 11 2001 assault.

"Four years ago, we began producing similar devices to that used by Umar Farouk," the 'al-Malamih' message said.

AQAP was officially formed in January 2009 from a merger of Al-Qaeda's Yemeni and Saudi branches.

The message claimed that Abdulmutallab trained at camps in Yemen in the second half of last year and was eager to "go into action".

Abdulmutallab was "always quiet and thought a lot," kept to himself, read the Koran and fasted every Monday and Thursday, the message said.

The explosive material used in the device concealed in the Nigerian's underwear was 'Pent', it stated.

Just four grammes of the substance are needed to produce a major blast, it claimed.

"The reason we chose a flight that left from (the Dutch capital) Amsterdam, is that the Netherlands is a country that has offended the Koran and Islam," the message stated.

This may be a reference to late Dutch director Theo Van Gogh's film 'Submission' which was aired on Dutch TV in 2004.

Somali-born feminist AyaanHirsi Ali wrote the screenplay for the film, which sharply criticised domestic violence against Muslim women.

A fatwa was issued against Hirsi Ali and Van Gogh, who was murdered by Dutch-Moroccan extremist Mohammed Bouyeri on 2 November, 2004.

A death threat against Hirsi Ali was pinned to his body with a knife.


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