Names kept secret for nowKey Arabs funding terror? [Archives:2003/692/Front Page]

December 8 2003

By Mohammed Al-Qadhi
Yemen Times Staff and News Services

SANA'A, Dec. 6 ) The initial interrogation of a top figure in the Yemen branch of Al-Qaeda, Mohamed Hamdi Al-Ahdal, alias Abu Issam Al-Maki, has revealed financial dealings between him and important figures in Arab countries.
“Ahdal provided important information to Yemeni investigators which implicates important personalities in Arab states regarding financial dealings with Ahdal,” a source close to the investigation said. The ongoing investigation is likely to reveal additional important information about terrorist operations in Yemen in recent years and the identity of those involved, he added.
Yemeni authorities are not disclosing names of the key Arabs linked to al-Qaeda funding at the moment for security reasons. They believe Ahdal is the second-in-command to Ali Qaed Sunian Al-Harithi, alias Abu Ali Al-Harithi, who was among the six Al-Qaeda suspects killed in a November 2002 in a missile attack by the US Central Intelligence Agency in the desert region of Al-Naqaa in Marib province, east of Sanaa.
Al-Ahdal was arrested in Sana'a Nov. 25, along with other four men. He is believed to be one of the masterminds of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden harbor, which killed 17 U.S. sailors, and the 2002 bombing of the French oil tanker Limburg off Yemen's coast.
Meanwhile, the government denies reports that plotted terrorist attacks targeting some important institutions have been recently foiled.
A Yemeni official described such information as “baseless.”
However, some security and media reports confirm that terrorist operations were thwarted. Security sources said that the plot was meant to attack the premises of a key television and radio station, the ministry of information, the passport and immigration authority and some other important trade centers.
The number of the arrested people behind the plot is not known.