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Bin Laden claims airline bomb attempt on Christmas

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CAIRO – Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the failed attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas in a new audio message released Sunday threatening more attacks on the United States. The United States said there was no indication to suggest that bin Laden or any of his top lieutenants had anything to do with the attempted attack and that the claim may have been motivated by the wish of the terror network's leaders to appear in control of al-Qaida's offshoots. "They offer strategic guidance and rely on their affiliates to carry out that strategic guidance," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in an interview. "He (bin Laden) is trying to continue to appear relevant," he said. The Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab told federal agents shortly afterward that he had been trained and given the explosives by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, an al-Qaida-inspired offshoot in bin Laden's ancestral homeland of Yemen. In the minute-long recording released to al-Jazeera Arabic news channel, bin Laden addressed President Barack Obama saying the recent attempt was meant to send a message similar to that of the Sept. 11 attacks.

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