Al Qaeda leader in Yemen reported killed by government forces
SANA’A, Yemen (WJC) –Government forces have reportedly killed the local leader of the Islamist terror network al-Qaeda, Abdullah Mehdar. He is said to have been the leader of an al-Qaeda group in the province of Shabwa, 400 miles east of the capital Sana’a. Reports said security forces were also hunting other members of the cell.
The governor of Shabwa province, Ali Hassan al-Ahmadi, said: “Abdullah Mehdar was killed last night by security forces, which had besieged the house he hid in.” The international community’s spotlight was turned on Yemen after the Yemen-based group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said it had carried out a failed bomb attack on a Detroit-bound airliner on 25 December.
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama said he had “no intention” of sending US troops to Yemen or Somalia to combat militant groups in those countries. Analysts say al-Qaeda militants have been moving to Yemen after coming under pressure in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and following a crackdown in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, a radical Yemeni cleric – who is accused by Washington of supporting terrorism – warned against any US troop deployment to Yemen to fight al-Qaeda, saying it would be considered an occupation. Sheikh Abdulmajeed al-Zendani also denied having links with US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi who Washington believes is behind the recent attempted plane bombing.
“We reject any military occupation of our country and we do not accept the return of colonialism,” Zendani told a news conference. “Yemenis, rulers and people, must be vigilant before a protectorate is imposed on them,” he warned. He said cooperation with the United States was “defined by agreements and these agreements must be submitted to parliament for its approval.”
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress