It was on expected lines that the Al-Qaeda's Yemen unit claimed in a video that it was responsible for the Charlie Hebdo attack. While the authenticity of the video cannot be ascertained, investigators are still not giving any credit to the Al-Qaeda, which it has been seeking desperately.
However, what is interesting to note here is that Yemen connection to this incident. The Yemen wing of the Al-Qaeda operates under the banner of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The story of the AQAP:
The formation of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took place in January 2009. The AQAP was formed following a merger of the Al-Qaeda in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
The primary agenda for the AQAP is to establish an Islamic caliphate and drive the West out. Hence, most of their attacks have always targeted the West.
The English unit:
Incidentally, this was the first unit of the Al-Qaeda which started to publish all its material in English. Diverting from the publication of material in Arabic, the Al-Qaeda felt that English material would give them a larger reach and this explains the large number of Western recruits into this wing.
In fact it was Anwar al Awlaki, the most dreaded preacher who suggested that English be used in their publications. He was an American born cleric who went on to become the most powerful preacher for the outfit. Right from the attackers of Charlie Hebdo and also the terrorists who carried out the 26/11 attack all were in fact inspired by the preaching of Awlaki.
Attack with vengence:
Some of the attacks that have been carried out by the AQAP are clear indications of the kind of vengence that they nurture against the West. It had become a hub for all those who were detained and released from Guantanamo.
All these men who returned joined the AQAP and under the guidance of Awlaki they spewed venom against the West. The 2009 Christmas day attack, the parcel plot of 2010 and the May 2012 plot all show the kind of reach and power that this wing of the Al-Qaeda has got. Interestingly in all these plots the target was always the West.
It was a conflict between the Al-Qaeda and the Yemen government in the year 2001 which led to the resurgence of this unit. The Al-Qaeda which was seeking to set up a base in Yemen was beaten down by the government with the support of the United States of America.
This battle has been on since the past decade and it escalated further after which the Yemen unit of the Al-Qaeda joined forces with its unit in Saudi Arabia to form the AQAP.
The Yemen government with the assistance of the United States of America has by and large managed to curtain the AQAP. The outfit looked as though it could spring back into action, but there were two body blows which they were not able to sustain.
The first was the death of Osama Bin Laden and later that of Awlaki who lived in Yemen. The group lost a direction and lacked in vision. Moreover it started to lose out heavily to the ISIS.
With the situation looking extremely bleak for the AQAP, it is only obvious that they would jump the gun to claim responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack. If the investigators credit them with this attack then it would come as a major boost to them, experts would say.