UPDATE 2-UAE says investigating Qaeda claim for UPS crash

* UAE says no link between UPS crash and Qaeda so far

* Says takes Qaeda’s claim of responsibility seriously

* Explosive parcel would have blown jet to pieces-police

(Adds Dubai police chief remarks)

By Praveen Menon

DUBAI, Nov 6 (BestGrowthStock) – The United Arab Emirates aviation
authority is investigating a claim by Al Qaeda that it was
behind the September crash of a UPS (UPS.N: ) plane in Dubai, but
has found no link so far, an official said on Saturday.

Al Qaeda’s Yemen-based wing — Al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula (AQAP) — claimed responsibility on Friday for the UPS
plane crash in Dubai, in which two crew members died, and for a
foiled plot to send explosive parcels to the United States last
week. [ID:nLDE6A41Z2]

“So far we have no evidence that links the UPS plane crash
with a terror attack. There is no evidence of explosives on
board,” Saif al-Suwaidi, director general of the UAE’s General
Civil Aviation Authority, told Reuters by telephone.

“That does not mean we will not take this claim seriously.
We are investigating the claim,” he added.

The militant group made the claim in a statement that
appeared on Islamist websites on Friday.

A UPS spokesman in the United States said the parcel
delivery company had no independent verification of what caused
its Germany-bound Boeing (BA.N: ) 747-400 plane to crash after the
pilot reported fire and smoke in the cockpit. [ID:nLDE6821QE]

“The main evidence we have is that there was no change in
pressure inside the airplane (and) I do not think this is
possible if there was an explosion as there (would be) sudden
pressure change,” Suwaidi said.

“Evidence shows that there was an onboard fire but no
explosion,” he added.

A U.S. counter-terrorism official in Washington said there
were strong indications that AQAP was responsible for last
week’s foiled cargo plane plot but the United States could not
confirm the group was behind the Sept. 3 UPS crash.

In remarks carried by UAE daily Al Khaleej newspaper,
Dubai’s chief of police Dahi Khalfan Tamim said he refused to
accept any link between the UPS crash and explosive parcels.

“The investigators did not report any explosion, only a fire
in the cabin,” Tamim was quoted as saying. “Dubai police
investigations revealed that an explosive parcel would have
blown up the plane into pieces.”

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Writing by Tamara Walid;
Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

UPDATE 2-UAE says investigating Qaeda claim for UPS crash