Yemen arrests suspected Qaeda leader

Published Jul 31, 2012 10:24am

Taliban — File Photo
— File Photo

SANAA: Yemeni security services have arrested a suspected al Qaeda leader, Abdulrahman al-Baihani, wanted for plotting “terrorist' attacks in the capital, state news agency Saba said Tuesday.

The suspect is “one of the most dangerous wanted al Qaeda elements and among the prominent leaders plotting to carry out acts of terrorism and sabotage in the capital,” Saba quoted a high-ranking security official as saying.

Baihani, who was arrested on Monday, “took part in fighting armed forces in Abyan province” from which al Qaeda militants were ousted in June following deadly battles with Yemeni forces.

He also “brought children whom he sent to fight alongside al Qaeda in Abyan and Shabwa provinces,” the official said.

Earlier in July, Yemen announced it has placed its security services on high alert to prevent “terrorist” attacks after it uncovered a plot to launch assaults against security and military checkpoints.

Al Qaeda militants have carried out several deadly attacks against Yemeni security services since President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who has repeatedly vowed to battle extremists, came to power this year.

In May, a Yemeni soldier detonated explosives packed under his uniform in the middle of an army battalion in the capital Sanaa, killing 96 troops and wounding around 300.

The Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, believed to be the global network's most effective and lethal franchise, had claimed responsibility for the attack.

And on July 11, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of a police academy in Sanaa, killing eight cadets and wounding several more.

Officials had accused al Qaeda of carrying out the assault. But the network has not claimed responsibility for this attack.

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