The leader of the group that carried out an attack on an Algerian gas plant released a video dated Jan. 17 in which he took responsibility for the operation and admitted his affiliation with al-Qaeda, according to media reports.
In the tape obtained by Mauritania's Sahara Media Agency, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who created "Signers in Blood" in December, said "We at al-Qaeda are responsible for this operation, which we bless."
On the recording, Belmokhtar also expressed a willingness to negotiate.
"We are ready to negotiate with the West and the Algerian regime provided that stops the attack and bombardment against the Muslim people of Mali ... and respect their desire to implement sharia in their territory."
Belmokhtar said the Algerian attack "was carried out by 40 jihadists from Muslim countries and even different Western countries in the name of 'Signers in Blood," adding the operation also allowed revenge on the Algerian government "for allowing its former colonizer (France) to use its land and airspace to kill our people in Mali."
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Read the original story: Video of militant leader links al-Qaeda to Algerian attack