Anonymous ‘AQAP source’ leaks information about group’s role in Charlie Hebdo?

Someone alleged to be a member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula says the group directed the Paris attack this week “as revenge for the honor” of the Prophet Muhammad, according to the Associated Press. “The member provided the statement on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized by the group to give his name.”

Another statement also provided by an anonymous “AQAP source” to The Intercept said: “Do not look for links or affiliation with Jihadi fronts. It is enough they are Muslims. They are Mujahideen. This is the Jihad of the Ummah.”

This “source” appears to be someone who tweets as @AL_hezbr1. Since neither the AP nor The Intercept offer any indication as to how or if they know that their source actually belongs to AQAP, it sounds like more accurate reporting would require referring to an anonymous source who claims to be a member of AQAP. But of course, a report that was sourced to some guy on Twitter probably wouldn’t get published.

A video released today by AQAP’s official media contains a statement by Harith al-Nazari its top sharia official who apparently praises the Paris attack without claiming responsibility.

Before he was killed today, Cherif Kouachi told BMFTV, a CNN affiliate in France, “I was sent, me, Cherif Kouachi, by al Qaeda in Yemen. I went there and Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki financed my trip.”

The Long War Journal reports:

Separately, BMFTV was also in contact today with Amedy Coulibaly, who was not involved in the assault on Charlie Hebdo, but is suspected of killing a Paris police officer and holding hostages at a kosher market.

Coulibaly apparently did not mention any ties to AQAP, but did say he was a member of the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that claims to rule over parts of Iraq and Syria as a “caliphate.” Coulibaly also claimed that he had coordinated his actions with the Kouachi brothers.

It is not clear at this point if Coulibaly had any ties to the Islamic State, or was simply claiming an affiliation.

That the gunmen had ties to AQAP and ISIS seems unlikely.

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