Terrorism: November 20, 2002


Yemeni security forces arrested a third man suspected of firing at a Hunt Corporation helicopter (carrying employees of the U.S. oil company) on 3 November. This suspect was arrested in a house in the capital, San'a. A government newspaper described the three as "among the dangerous elements of al Qaeda in Yemen, who were caught following a search operation that lasted several months". 

The names of all three suspects are being withheld, although Yemeni sources said the three had been in direct contact with Ali Qaed Sinan al-Harethi. Al-Harethi was killed (along with five others) on 4 November when their car was hit by a Hellfire missile fired from an unmanned CIA aircraft. Yemeni security personnel are still searching for an unnamed seventh al-Qaeda suspect, who left the car moments before it was hit. 

Meanwhile, Yemeni security arrested Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri at the international airport in Sana two weeks ago and turned over to U.S. interrogators. He was believed to be fleeing to Malaysia. Al-Nashiri was one of bin Laden's closest associates, he had refused to give up the Al Qaeda's hideout. The U.S. revealed the al Qaeda captive's name on 21 November, hoping to socially engineer bin Laden into moving. Delta Force commandos had been put on standby, hoping to catch bin Laden during this vulnerable period. - Adam Geibel


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