Nasser bin al-Ansi, head of al-Qaida in Yemen, has claimed responsibility for the attack Jan. 7 on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo that killed 12 people, including five prominent cartoonists.
“As for the blessed Battle of Paris, we, the Organization of al-Qaida al Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula, claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the Messenger of God,” al-Ansi said in a video posted on YouTube. He claimed the massacre was ordered by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, and that the “one who chose the target, laid the plan and financed the operation is the leadership of the organization.”
This week’s issue of Charlie Hebdo, which went on sale today, sold out almost immediately at newsstands across France, and the distributor has increased the print run from 3 million to 5 million, The Guardian reports. The magazine typically has a weekly print run of 60,000. CNN reports copies are selling on eBay for hundreds of dollars.
The staff of Charlie Hebdo gave a press conference Tuesday in Paris, ahead of the release of the new issue, which features a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover. “I am sorry we’ve drawn him again, but the Muhammad we’ve drawn is first of all a man who’s crying,” said the artist, Renald Luzier (Luz). “We’ve been called dangerous, irresponsible troublemakers. But we’re above all cartoonists, just like kids who like to draw.”
The surviving staff has been working from the offices of the French newspaper Libération since the attack on the magazine’s headquarters, which remains a crime scene.
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