New Suspect of USS Cole Urges not to be Behind the Bars [Archives:2001/17/Front Page]

April 23 2001

Ahmad Ali Al-Maqaleh, one of the suspects in the USS Cole incident who is still at large, said last Thursday that he was ready to disclose important information about the incident on condition that he should not be arrested and put into prison by intelligence officers. In a letter to the Yemeni Public Opinion, he disclosed his whereabouts in the governorate of Al-Jawf to the north of Sanaa. In addition, he urged not to put him into prison and expressed his willingness to be interrogated anywhere else. He condemned the arrest campaign that Yemeni police are carrying out since the Cole bombing attack, as well as harassing him by cutting his telephone line, closing down his bookshop and subjecting his house to close surveillance. He said also that the police were chasing him in his own village at al-Naderah, Ibb Governorate. He expressed his astonishment at the police efforts to arrest him and put him behind bars without a legal warrant from the prosecution. He pointed out that the police are harassing him for his anti-Jewish stand. This harassment is being propagated by the Americans with the support of their agents in the Arab world under the pretext of countering terrorism.
Reliable security sources told Yemen Times that the suspect fled to Saadah one month ago and then moved to Al-Jawf. He is said to be protected by tribesmen there. The sources added that the police have been trying to catch him for a month as he is suspected to be an accomplice to the USS Cole bombers who are now in custody. One of his relatives said that Al-Maqaleh ran away to Saadah and then Al-Jawf after receiving information that his name and telephone number were found in the diary of one of the arrested suspects. He added that the security men are trying to arrest him after forcibly sealing his bookshop in Sanaa. The arrest campaign against the suspects of the incident has been intensified in the last few weeks, which indicates that the interrogation will continue for some time. It also indicates that the trial of the suspects will not start as soon as officials at the Ministry of Interior said. It also indicates that some vital clue has been obtained about new suspects involved in the suicide bombing attack that killed 17 American sailors and injured 39 others on October 12, 2000 at Aden Port.