Yemen Arrests Top al-Qaida Figure
By AHMED AL-HAJ, AP
SAN'A, Yemen (Nov. 25) -- Security forces on Tuesday captured one of the top al-Qaida members in Yemen, a suspected mastermind of the deadly suicide bombings of the USS Cole and a French oil tanker off the country's coast.
Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal was arrested after Yemeni forces surrounded his hide-out west of the capital, San'a, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried on the official SABA news agency.
A U.S. counterterrorism official in Washington confirmed al-Ahdal's capture. The official said he had been among the top 20 al-Qaida figures at large.
Al-Ahdal played a role in the terror group's finances, weapons smuggling and operational planning and was well-connected to other extremists in Persian Gulf countries, the official said.
In neighboring Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, security forces foiled a planned terror attack in the capital Tuesday, killing two militants and seizing a car bomb ready to detonate on the first day of festivities marking the end of Ramadan, the Saudi government said.
Al-Ahdal, also known as Abu Assem al-Makky, is one of the two main leaders of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network in Yemen, according to security reports published in the Yemeni press.
Yemeni security officials believe the Saudi-born al-Ahdal, 32, was one of the masterminds of the 2000 bombing of the Cole, which killed 17 U.S. sailors, and the 2002 bombing of the French oil tanker Limburg.
In each of those attacks, an explosive-laden boat was piloted up to the larger ship and detonated. The Limburg attack killed a Bulgarian crew member and spilled 90,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Aden.
Al-Ahdal, who is on the U.S. list of wanted terrorists in Yemen, also was accused of planning an abortive attack last year on a five-star hotel where some FBI investigators were staying.
The Interior Ministry statement said al-Ahdal was found after several months of extensive efforts by security forces.
Witnesses said security forces fired in the air to force al-Ahdal to surrender. The official statement did not mention any shooting.
Al-Ahdal has been described as the main coordinator of al-Qaida activities in Yemen, ranking second to Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, bin Laden's top lieutenant in Yemen who was killed last November in a missile attack from a CIA-operated Predator drone.
Al-Harethi, who was in his mid-40s, was believed to have coordinated the attack on the Cole. He first met bin Laden in the 1980s during the war against Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, and the two met again in Sudan, where bin Laden went in the 1990s.
Yemeni media reported that al-Harethi was replaced in the al-Qaida hierarchy by Abu Ali el-Kandahari.
The Yemeni security reports say al-Ahdal fought in Bosnia and in Chechnya, where he lost his left leg below the knee and was fitted with an artificial leg. He allegedly traveled several times to Afghanistan in 1999 and 2000, and to Ethiopia in August 2000.
Al-Ahdal was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 1999 and spent 14 months in prison for maintaining connections with bin Laden. He was then deported to Yemen.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1292 times:
Wish I could say you're good at something, but I haven't figured out what that might be, except for puttind down those who refute anything you believe in, without actually having sound arguments in return.
I know, long sentences like that confuse you. Sorry.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1285 times:
I never said I believed any of that stuff did I?
That's what I've been trying to find out-WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE? All I see are insults torwards anyone who doesn't agree with the GOP or Bush, but what do YOU think on subjects? That's what I've been trying to drag the hell out of you. Debate the fucking issues that are being brought up, OK? That's why I give you shit, man! Can't you figure that out by now.
And again stop embarrassing yourself by intentionally misspelling my handle. It embarrasses me not at all, but it sure makes you look bad.
ScottysAir From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1241 times:
How you even find out about terrorist in Yemen was capture with CIA or FBI. How is possible you thought know about those al-qaeda by the terrorist list from FBI. Keep with those bad guys off from their country in USA either. Is that was going to the prison into the long time.
Cicadajet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1208 times:
Thomas Sowel. Jan 10 2002
<< In a war, you do not read Miranda rights to captured enemy soldiers or let them phone their attorneys. If you catch them behind your lines not wearing their own uniforms, you can legally shoot them as spies. If international terrorism is not quite the same as war, it is also not the same as ordinary domestic crime, so maybe you need some new institutions to deal with it. But you don't just blithely give international terrorists all the same rights as your own citizens in ordinary courts of law.
After World War II, when people really were serious, Nazi war criminals were tried in a court created for that occasion, enforcing international norms that had never been put into law before. These war criminals were then hanged without undue delay or hand-wringing. Why today's terrorists deserve any better is hard to see. >>
Commander_Rabb From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 771 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (11 years 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1200 times:
"Why today's terrorists deserve any better is hard to see."
Correct, they should not deserve better. They deserve worse. They get too much indirect sympathy because the United States is perceived as the cowboy going it alone and other nations want to have a sit down with these criminals and talk it out.
People today have a warped sense of reality. They think we live in some sort of daisyland where everything in life is fair and with a little sympathetic talk everything will be juuuuuuuust fine. These terrorist thugs would just as soon shoot you in the head than listen to the first strings of Kumbaya.
War is ugly. Make the decision, plan your battle, fight to the end, but lets make the other s.o.b. die for his cause first! That's how you win wars and that's how the United States is going to win this war on terrorism. Plain and simple.
Bobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (11 years 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1168 times:
Head down, broken, in shackles, and being escorted to dinner.
Yeah, I like that.
Please, remind us - what were these people convicted of? What is the evidence against them? Where, in the irksome Geneva convention, is there a clause allowing you to create an entirely new category of prisoner without the rights of either POW or spy or citizen?