Ministry of Interior detains suspects of US embassy attack [Archives:2008/1192/Front Page]

September 22 2008

Almigdad Mojalli
SANA'A, Sept. 20 ) Up to 25 suspects have been arrested in connection with the US embassy attacks that took place last Wednesday in Sana'a killing 17 individuals.

The Ministry of Interior stated that the suspects, which were arrested last Thursday, may have links to the Al-Qaeda organization. The ministry is still investigating the incident and continues to look for more perpetrators.

The ministry also stated that it had put its different departments on high alert, and that it had boosted security at different departments, embassies and diplomatic bureaus to be ready to confront and thwart any future terrorist threats.

A group calling itself 'The Islamic Jihad', not only claimed responsibility for the attack against the US embassy, but also threatened to launch similar attacks against foreign interests in the country including the embassies of Britain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The group is demanding the Yemeni authorities release detained members of their group.

In reaction to the threats, the British embassy has declared that it will be closed from Saturday 20 September 2008 until further notice.

The American administration also reacted to the attack, President Bush said that the attackers were trying to make the US lose its stability and push the country to withdraw its troops from around the world. Bush added that the attack was a reminder that the US is in a war against extremists who don't hesitate to kill innocents to achieve their ideological goals.

In the meantime, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice assured President Ali Abdullah Saleh of the US's support for Yemen's efforts in combating terrorism.

Spokesman for the US Department of State, McCormack, accused Al-Qaeda of being behind the attack, pointing out that the attack has all the signs of an Al-Qaeda operation, including the presence of a car bomb and armed assailants. He also mentioned that all the American nationals working in the embassy are unharmed.

American officials in the Department of State's Counterterrorism Office indicated that it is too early to determine who is responsible for the attack, but repeated that the attack had all the signs of an Al-Qaeda operation. They added that it seemed that the aim of the attackers was to break through the wall into the embassy to kill more people inside.

The Democratic candidate for the American presidency, Barack Obama, also condemned that attack and promised, if elected, to double American aid to eradicate Al-Qaeda and to develop the abilities of the Yemeni security forces.