Sign In | Sign Up
CAIRO (AP) - In a rare public apology, the military leader of al-Qaida's branch in Yemen has said that one of his fighters disobeyed orders and attacked a hospital attached to the Defense Ministry during a December assault that killed 52 people.
Qassim al-Rimi, commander of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, said in a video posted on militant websites that the attackers were warned in advance not to enter the hospital within the complex, nor a place for prayer there. But he said one fighter did.
"Now we acknowledge our mistake and guilt," al-Rimi said in a video released late Saturday by al-Qaida's media arm al-Mallahem. "We offer our apology and condolences to the victims' families. We accept full responsibility for what happened in the hospital and will pay blood money for the victims' families."
The apology seemed prompted by Yemen state television earlier broadcasting a video showing a gunman attacking doctors and other hospital staff. Several al-Qaida jihadis tried to dismiss the video as fake on militant websites, but the outcry apparently embarrassed the al-Qaida branch to the point of issuing an unusual expression of regret from the group.
"We rid ourselves of what our brother did," al-Rimi said. "We did not order him to do so and we are not pleased with what he did."
However, al-Rimi said despite the group making a mistake, "we are continuing with our jihad."
The authenticity of the English-subtitled video could not be absolutely confirmed, though it was consistent with other Associated Press reporting and came from al-Qaida's media arm.
That fighter and eight other militants were killed in the Dec. 5 suicide bombing and gunmen attack on the ministry complex in Sanaa, Yemen's capital. Seven foreigners from Germany, India, the Philippines and Vietnam were among the dead - all who were providing aid at the hospital.
Al-Rimi repeated al-Qaida's earlier claim that the Defense Ministry was attacked because it housed drone control rooms and American experts. He also said that security headquarters used by Americans in their war are "legitimate targets."
"We have a long list of these places," al-Rimi said.He also warned that fighters also will attack any other military posts and camps that "cooperate with the American drones by spying, planting chips, providing information or offering intelligence advice."
U.S. drone strikes in Yemen have inflicted heavy losses on al-Qaida militants and are part of a joint U.S.-Yemeni campaign against a group which Washington has called the most dangerous branch of the global terrorist network.
But a Dec. 12 drone attack that mistook a wedding party convoy for an al-Qaida convoy, killing 15 people, has fueled anger against the United States and the government in Sanaa among a Yemeni public already opposed to the strikes. Yemen's parliament later urged the government to end the use of Yemen's airspace by U.S. drones.
Wel of course that makes it all ok now doesn't it> Guess it's time to send out the negotiating team from DC and work with them!
or maybe your god damned nation can stop bombing other people
Hard to believe, a terrorist disobeying an order. Apology or not these idiots are creeps.
kill all terrorists
Bring all our troops and drones home! They have fought each other for hundreds of years and will continue to do so with or without us.
I tend to agree. We should either fight to win or come home. This tit for tat approach is going nowhere.
They should apologize for the attack on Americas Twin Towers that killed thousands of innocent Americans!
Kill, kill, kill. What kind of religion kills indiscriminantly without constructive hope for change? A collection of sick, angry men with no self respect or respect for other lives.
Wow! Kind of sound like all religions to me.
Take a look at the Catholic church over the centuries.
They kill 52 people "accidently" and apologize for it?Well, that makes my day all better now.......
Al Qaeda only apoligize if it is caught on film.
Thanks for that not so un- sincere apology because you stated we will continue with our Jihad. Maybe for Christmas you can receive some cat poo disguised as almond Roca
This is almost as funny as the Mafia's announcement that they were leaving Atlantic City because, as they put it, "We weren't welcome there.".