Al-Qaeda suspects to be tried [Archives:2004/726/Front Page]

April 5 2004

Yemen announced on Thursday that 41 terrorism suspects will be referred to court during the coming days. The 26 September weekly, close to the Presidency and mouthpiece of the military, reported that 41 al-Qaeda suspects, including 6 people suspected of being involved in the USS Cole bombing and 5 others in the French oil tanker Limburg bombing will be tried soon. The source said that the decision to refer their files to the prosecution and court has been taken after the security authorities completed their investigations into the cases. It said the trial of the suspects would start soon, without giving a date.
The Yemeni authorities announced several times that investigations into these issues have been completed and that the trial of the suspects would be run soon, but nothing happened since the suicide bombings against the Cole and Limburg. The US refused several times to allow the suspects of the Cole bombing to be tried, in order to collect more information on the operatives. Some political analysts said that the announcement by Yemen shows that Yemen has a problem with the US and it said openly that the US is asking for things that are impossible to achieve without financial rewards. However, the US stresses that protecting Yemen's porous border is the responsibility of the Yemeni Government and that the US is committed to assist Yemen in this regard.
Yemen arrested some people suspected of having links to the Cole operation. Yet, ten of them, including the suspected mastermind Jamal al-Badwi, escaped from the prison of the Intelligence Services in April last year. The Government announced that some of the fugitives were arrested again in its recent crack down in Abyan, including al-Badwi and Fahd al-Qis'e.
Some local and international human rights organizations lashed out at the Yemeni Government for detaining tens of al-Qaeda suspects without legal warrants or trial. Some have been released after they pledged to the clerics committee conducting dialogue with the detained extremists that they would never get involved in terrorist activities. However, security officials expressed worry that some people who were released were caught red-handed.