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In his weekly address, President Obama said that the Christmas Day airline bomber acted under orders from an al Qaeda branch in Yemen, which "trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America."
Obama sent a letter to his Yemeni counterpart, Ali Abdullah Saleh, delivered by Gen. David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, in which he pledged to double the $70 million in counterterrorism aid to the poverty-stricken country in 2009, a figure that does not include covert programs run by U.S. special forces and the CIA