Terrorism: November 18, 2002


The CIA is questioning Mohsen al-Fadhli, a 21-year-old Kuwaiti citizen described as a computer expert and leading al-Qaeda fundraiser. Intelligence sources accuse him of plotting an imminent car bomb attack on the Sanaa Sheraton Hotel (used by American military personnel) and confessing to funding the October attack on a French oil tanker off the Yemeni coast. He allegedly told American investigators that senior members of the Kuwaiti military helped him to mastermind the attack on the tanker, Limburg.

Al-Fadhli was arrested in Kuwait and has been moved to a secret location. The CIA hopes that he will reveal other planned attacks and may have information about Osama bin Ladens whereabouts. 

An anonymous official told the Associated Press on 16 November that U.S. fighter jets were patrolling Yemen's northern provinces of Marib and Jawf along the Saudi Arabian border, while Yemeni forces hunt for Al Qaeda operatives hiding in tribal areas. Officials at the Pentagon and National Security Council did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. 

Tribal leaders claim that Americans have also been seen on the ground, aiding Yemenis special forces troops. Military patrols had been stopping passenger vehicles for identity checks and that five new checkpoints had been established.  - Adam Geibel


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