In the 6th session of the UK Embassy Bombing Trial Sallam: “I claimed the operation lest I should be accused of being coward” [Archives:2001/27/Local News]

July 2 2001

In the sixth session of the trial of the UK Embassy bombing, Faris S. Taher, the forth suspect his involvement in and statements about the terrorist attack on the UK Embassy in Sanaa on October 13 2000. He said that he previously confessed to his involvement under duress from the criminal investigation department. The prosecutor accused him of involvement in the terrorist attack on the embassy and the Intercontinental Hotel in Aden early this year.
The prosecutor said Faris had confessed in writing that he drew a map of the location of the nightclub in the hotel as instructed by A. Masood. He added that Ahmed Masood gave him explosives to plant in the sewage of the hotel and connive with Abu Bakr Jayol (Faris’s step father), Ahmed Masood and Sallam Salem in bombing the UK Embassy. However, Faris denied all these charges. He said he was in Sanaa when the incident took place and that he met Jayol, Ahmed Masood and Sallam there. He mentioned that he only saw the explosion from the roof of the building where he was and that it was Jayol who told him about the explosion although he did not want to disclose any information about it to the police. His father, a colonel in the army, who was attending the session endorsed Fares’ denial of those charges. Faris also denied the charge of planting the explosives. He further told the court that he had a pistol which he bought from Jehanah near Sanaa. When asked about whether he had the necessary license to carry a weapon, he said, “Not all people have such license.”
The third suspect in the case, Sallam, denied his involvement in the bombing of the embassy. He said he confessed about his involvement in the incident to escape torture by the prosecution, which, he said, was worse than that of the Political Security Office (PSO). He said he surrendered to the police. Subsequently, an officer in the PSO came to Jayol’s house and told the group that PSO knew who the actual bombers were and that one of them must sacrifice for the others to be out of trouble. Sallam said that Abdu Abdulsalam Al-Hilah persuaded him to confess the charges against him and assured him that he would not stay in prison more than six months. He succumbed because he was with the group and did not want to be branded a coward. He said again that he was employed by Jayol in the PSO at a monthly salary of YR 13,500.
The second suspect Ahmed Masood confessed in the last session that he alerted the ex-minister of Interior, Mr. Hussein Arab about the explosions in Aden. He also said his accomplice was one of the guards, Hadi A. Masood, in planning the explosion of the minister’s house. But the minister denied all these allegations describing them as baseless. However, he said he was ready to appear before court if summoned. The next session of the trial is scheduled for today Monday July 2, 2001.