Six Al-Qaeda militants arrested after jailbreak

Published on 6 February 2012 in News
SABA & Xinhua News Agencies (author)

SABA & Xinhua News Agencies


ADEN, Dec. 14 — Six alleged Al Qaida militants were arrested on Tuesday in Yemen a day after 12 Al-Qaeda members broke away from a prison in the southern port city of Aden, according to the state-run news agency, Saba.

A leading figure in the terrorist group was among the detainees, the agency said.

“Security services, backed by the local people, arrested Musa’ad Mohammad Al Barbari, Mohammad Hussain Musaib, Mohammad Abdul Kader Ahmad Al Shihri, Nader Ahmad Mohammad Al Qubati, Mohammad Muthana Ali Al Amari and Abdul Munaim Hamad Abu Ganem,” a security source told the agency.

According to Saba, the alleged terrorist cell was planning to target high profile officials, vital government installations and foreign diplomats in the country. They also recruited young men to fight the army in Abyan and Shabwa.

Three escaped prisoners out of the 15 were arrested immediately and security forces in the city set up a security committee to investigate the incident, the source said.

The local security official said on condition of anonymity that about 15 Al-Qaeda prisoners, including five prisoners who had been sentenced to death, fled the central jail in the Al-Mansoura district in Aden after digging a small underground tunnel.

Some other inmates fought their way out of the jail along with the Al-Qaeda prisoners, according to the official.

The escaping Al-Qaeda prisoners were convicted on terrorism charges, the official said, adding that the police have launched inquiries.

An opposition official, who claimed that the prison break was “orchestrated,” accused local security forces and prison police of “supporting the Al-Qaeda prisoners’ escape.”

Earlier this year, more than 62 Al-Qaeda prisoners broke jail in Al-Mukalla, the provincial capital of the southeastern province of Hadramout.

Militants of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are taking advantage of the 10 months of sweeping protests against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule to bolster their presence in the country’s southern regions, including cities across the Abyan and Shabwa provinces they seized late in May.