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Alqaeda web proof
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Ruins: the burnt-out hotel.
Evidence points to al-Qaeda
COUNTER-terrorism officials said evidence was mounting that the al-Qaeda network was behind last week's attacks on a hotel and an aircraft in Kenya.
They pointed to missile launchers used in the attack and a claim of responsibility on an extremist Islamic website.
US authorities regard the al-Qaeda claim, posted on the website www.azfalrasas.com, as credible, officials said on Monday.
They said the Government had other information that suggested Osama bin Laden's organisation was responsible for last Thursday's attacks, which were aimed at Israelis on an airliner and at a hotel in Mombasa.
The website statement called the attacks a Ramadan greeting to the Palestinian people and referred to al-Qaeda's deadly attacks in 1998 against US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
"At the same place where the 'Jewish Crusader coalition' was hit four years ago ... here the fighters of al-Qaeda came back once again to strike heavily against that evil coalition. But this time, it was against Jews," the statement said in Arabic.
Two anti-aircraft missile launchers recovered after the failed attack on the airliner are from the same production batch as one that an al-Qaeda operative fired in Saudi Arabia at a US military plane in May.
On Thursday, attackers launched two missiles at an Israeli charter airliner just after it took off from Mombasa for Tel Aviv, with 261 passengers and 10 crew members. Both missed, and the Arkia Airlines Boeing 757 landed safely at its destination.
About that time, a vehicle bomb at an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa killed 10 Kenyans, three Israelis and the three bombers.
To make the missile connection, investigators compared the serial numbers on the two discarded launchers with the number on the launch tube recovered outside Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia seven months ago. The numbers were close, officials said.
The missile, known as a SA-7b Grail, chases the heat produced by an aircraft engine and explodes, but are effective only while the target plane is flying low and slow.
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