NPR logo Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility For Bombing Of Somali Jet Last Week

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Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility For Bombing Of Somali Jet Last Week

The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Somalian commercial airliner earlier this month.

In a statement, the Somalia-based Islamist group said the attack was targeting Western and Turkish intelligence agents and that the bomb was intended to destroy the entire plane, The Associated Press reports.

The attack failed on that front: the bomb detonated just 15 minutes after take-off, while the plane was only at 11,000 feet, and despite the hole in the plane's fuselage it made a safe emergency landing in Mogadishu.

The only casualty was the bomber, who was sucked out of the hole in the side of the plane.

As we reported earlier this week, CCTV footage suggests that Somali airport workers played a part in the bombing. It shows airport workers passing a suitcase to the passenger who detonated the explosive mid-flight, as Merrit explained:

"A YouTube video posted by the Somali government on Twitter purportedly shows the bomb passoff at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport. Footage released at the same time shows the inside of the cabin after the explosion.

"The cellphone video of the windy plane cabin shows passengers looking strikingly unfazed about the bomb that just exploded and the hole it left behind."

Airline officials had suspected al-Shabab, which has carried out a number of attacks in Somalia, well before the group claimed responsibility for the failed bombing.