November 21, 2010 in Nation/World

Al-Qaida offshoot explains plane attempts

Kimberly Dozier Associated Press
 

WASHINGTON – Al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula is promising more small-scale attacks like its attempts to bomb two U.S.-bound cargo planes, which it likens to bleeding its enemy to death by a thousand cuts, in a special edition of the Yemeni-based group’s English online magazine, Inspire.

The editors boast that what they call Operation Hemorrhage was cheap and easy, using common items that together with shipping cost only $4,200 to carry out.

The group says it’s part of a new strategy to replace spectacular attacks in favor of smaller attacks to hit the U.S. economy, according to the English-language magazine, as posted by both Ben Venske’s IntelCenter, and the Site Intelligence Group.

“To bring down America we do not need to strike big,” the editors write. With the “security phobia that is sweeping America, it is more feasible to stage smaller attacks that involve less players and less time to launch” thereby circumventing U.S. security, they conclude.

In the magazine, an author identified as the group’s head of foreign operations says the package attacks were intended to cause economic harm, not casualties.

The al-Qaida offshoot insists it also brought down a UPS cargo plane in Dubai in September, in addition to the Oct. 29th attempts to bring down a FedEx plane, and a UPS plane bound for the U.S.

But U.S. officials insist the Dubai crash was an accident caused by a battery fire, not terrorism.

Those who monitor Jihadist sites say the post is a radical departure from the shadowy claims of responsibility common to most al-Qaida groups.

“We have never seen a jihadist group in the al-Qaida orbit ever release, let alone only a few weeks after, such a detailed accounting of the philosophy, operational details, intent and next steps following a major attack,” said the IntelCenter’s Venske.

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