US President Barack Obama Saturday for the first time accused an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen of arming and training a young Nigerian man for a thwarted suicide mission to blow up a US airliner.
Obama, in his weekly radio and video address posted on the White House website, promised to hold the group, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to account for the attack, declaring the United States was at war with a "far-reaching network of violence and hatred."
"We know that he traveled to Yemen, a country grappling with crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies," Obama said, referring to the suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
"It appears that he joined an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, and that this group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula-trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America."
Previously, US officials have not said publicly that the Northwest attack was the work of Al-Qaeda, though had noted there was a "linkage" with the terror group.