The terrorist attack in Paris targeting the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was not the first al-Qaeda plot to attack cartoonists in Europe. A plot foiled in 2009 to attack the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten was eerily similar to the Paris operation and was connected directly to the senior al-Qaeda leadership.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed credit for the Paris attack in a series of messages, tweets and a video released Jan. 13. The 11-minute video featured AQAP ideologue Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, who unequivocally said AQAP "chose the target, laid the plan and financed the operation." This is consistent with media reports that at least one of the two French-Algerian brothers who carried out the attack trained with AQAP in Yemen.