Prince Nayef feels sorry for Saudis helping terror suspects [Archives:2006/937/Front Page]

April 13 2006

By:Yemen Times Staff
SANA'A, April 12 ) Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz commented Tuesday on confessions made by Al-Qaeda second-in-command in Yemen, Mohamed Hamdi Al-Ahdal, who was tried in Sana'a confessing that he received money from Saudi citizens but refused to name them.

In a Riyadh press conference, Prince Nayef said, “We feel sorry for the irresponsible Saudi nationals who help terrorists from other countries.”

Al-Ahdal confessed before the State Security Specialized Penal Court that he received financial assistance and cars from Saudi citizens. Meanwhile, Yemen allowed Saudi detectives to investigate Al-Ahdal, who confessed to receiving 1.06 million Saudi Riyals from Saudi businessmen.

Yemen's government announced that it provided Saudi Arabia with all confessions Al-Ahdal made revealing names of Saudi nationals in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates who funneled money to Al-Qaeda terrorist operations in Yemen.

Yemeni authorities accused Al-Ahdal of receiving 1.06 million Saudi Riyals, equivalent to YR 80 million, to distribute to Al-Jawf and Marib tribesmen to harbor wanted terror suspects.

Backed by tanks and helicopters, Special Forces raided Al-Jalal strongholds in Marib in December 2001 in an attempt to arrest Al-Ahdal. The raids turned into clashes, with Abida tribesmen killing at least 15 and wounding 20 others. Yemen's Al-Qaeda second-in-command was arrested November 25, 2003.

In last Monday's session, the court adjourned the cases of Al-Ahdal and his aide, Ghalib Abdullah Ali Al-Zaidi, until April 18 for final appeals.

Born in Saudi Arabia, Al-Ahdal was considered Al-Qaeda's second-in-command in Yemen after Ali Qaed Senen Al-Harithi, one of those who plotted the USS Cole attack in 2000. Al-Harithi was killed by a U.S. fighter in Marib in 2002.