In Marib after recent clash with some police security menAl-Qaeda suspect flees unharmed [Archives:2003/638/Local News]

June 2 2003

Yemen Times Staff
Tribal sources told the Yemen Times that confrontations took place between an al-Qaeda suspect and the police forces last Wednesday in one of the traditional markets of the Marib City located about 16 km east of Sana'a.
The clashes started when a group of police forces tried to arrest a man named Ali Mubarak Firas, one of the Arab Afghans who returned from Afghanistan and who belongs to one of the prominent tribes of Ma'rib.
The sources mentioned that the confrontations took place using fire arms and white weapons and lead to the injury of three of the police forces, one critically injured and might not make it.
Ali Mubarak fled the scene leaving his car in the hands of the forces.
Another tribal source said that this confrontation started suddenly especially that the security forces arrested him earlier in 2002 in Marib and sent him to Sana'a where he remained for approximately three months and was released due to lack of evidence and then came back home to Mareb.
A source close to the security forces told the Yemen Times that this operation has come according to information stating that Ali Mubarak Firas might lead the security men to hunt down of Abu Asem, the first wanted man in Yemen, and know his whereabouts.
In addition, the source pointed out that Ali Mubarak Firas might be one of persons who transmitted information to Abu Asem to convince him to surrender himself to the authorities on condition that he would not be handed to the USA.
This has been done according to negations made one month ago between people who know Abu Asem, a key al-Qaeda mastermind and officials at the government to convince Abu Asem to hand himself over.
On another front, sources relating to those people connected with Abu Asem stated that they do have links with Al-Qaida but they did not promise any of the security authorities to convince Abu Asem to surrender and that they would tell him about this proposition and it would be up to him to decide.
The sources say that Abu Asem refused the proposal saying that he does not trust the state and does not believe it would not hand him to the USA. It is believed that Abu Asem lost touch with his former colleague as they have no connections with him any longer because he disappeared two months ago from in Ma'rib.
Another source confirmed the negotiations taking place between similar elements and high rank officials in the state in the hunt down of Abu Asem and in effort to convince him to surrender to the police.
In a statement last week, the USA warned its citizens from traveling to Yemen and called upon Americans living in Yemen to return home if possible.
The USA had started more than a week ago minimizing its diplomatic staff in the embassy referring this act to the increasing level of danger especially with the news that new terrorist acts are yet to take place in Yemen soon.