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Photo: AP
Did Qaeda down UPS plane?
Photo: AP

Al-Qaeda says downed UPS plane

Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula claims responsibility for downing of UPS aircraft in Dubai in September; group also says it was behind mail bomb plot thwarted by authorities last week

A Yemen-based al-Qaeda group has claimed responsibility for the downing of a United Parcel Service cargo plane in Dubai in September.

 

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has also said it was behind the mail bomb plot uncovered by international authorities late last week.

 

A security official in the United Arab Emirates familiar with the investigations into the Sept. 3 crash of the UPS cargo plane in Dubai and the mail bombs plot told The Associated Press Friday that there is no change in the findings that the UPS crash in September was likely caused by an onboard fire and not by an explosive device.

 

"There was no explosion," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity under standing UAE rules on disclosing security-related information.

 

In a communiqué on jihadist forums, picked up by the SITE Intelligence Group, al-Qaeda wondered why the media did not attribute the downing of the plane to the terror network earlier. It then speculated that US President Barack Obama may have wanted to hide the incident as not to undermine the Democratic midterm election campaign.

 

'We struck three blows'

In a message to Obama, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said: “We struck three blows to your aircraft within one year.

 

The September crash of the UPS plane claimed the lives of two pilots. The aircraft crashed inside an airbase near a highway junction southeast of Dubai's international airport.

 

A witness, who refused to give his name, said he was sitting on the balcony of his home when he heard a "big boom."

 

"There was fire and too much smoke," he said.

 

Two US aviation experts said the plane had taken off and then turned around and was returning to land when the accident took place.

 

Following the crash, a Dubai-based spokesman for the General Civil Aviation Authority, Ismail al-Baroushi, said an investigation was under way, but it was "too early to speculate" on the cause of the crash.

 

At the time, National Transportation Safety Board Spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz also said the US agency will send a team of experts to Dubai to assist with the investigation.

 

Ynet contributed to the report

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 11.05.10, 21:53
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