Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Yemen launches manhunt for Saudi wanted in bomb plot

Military and intelligence forces scour remote Yemeni provinces for Ibrahim al Asiri, a key suspect in attempt to blow up US-bound cargo planes.

SANAA // Yemen launched a manhunt on Tuesday for a Saudi bomb maker who is a key suspect in an attempt to blow up US-bound cargo planes as the poor country came under pressure to find those behind the plot.

Yemeni security forces and intelligence were deployed to the provinces of Maarib and Shabwa to find Ibrahim al Asiri, a Saudi al Qa'eda operative who Washington believed was linked to the parcel plot, a security official said.

"Asiri is believed to be hiding and moving with senior al Qa'eda elements such as (Yemen al Qa'eda leader) Nasser al Wahayshi. Security intelligence are still tracking them down to exactly identify their whereabouts," the official said.

"The campaign includes intensive intelligence and military work," he added. A large contingent of security forces had been deployed to parts of the two provinces and were working to seal off some areas.

Maarib and Shabwa are neighbouring provinces known for their impenetrable desert terrain. Shabwa is in central Yemen and borders the Arabian Sea and Maarib lies further west.

The two parcel bombs intercepted last week on cargo planes in Britain and Dubai were believed to be the work of al Qa'eda's Yemen-based arm, al Qa'eda in the Arabian Peninsula, US officials say.

The US administration has not called for a large-scale crackdown in Yemen and political analysts point to the country's weak central government which faces huge economic problems and strong anti-American sentiment among the population which complicate its partnership with Washington.

There are domestic concerns that the plot could be used to justify greater US intervention.

Yemeni police arrested a young student at Sanaa University in connection with the parcel bomb plot but released her the next day, saying she had been the victim of identity theft.

 

 

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National