Yemen, Saudi discuss al-Qaeda suspect swap [Archives:2003/668/Front Page]
SANA'A, Sept. 11– Official sources have confirmed to Yemen Times on Friday that discussions are taking place between Yemen and Saudi Arabia concerning the exchange of 13 prisoners suspected of connections with al-Qaeda network.
Observers believe that Yemen will hand over seven Saudi nationals arrested recently after a massive manhunt was carried out in the country.
The seven men were captured after the Saudi government issued a warrant to Yemen about the names and features of the suspects thought to have infiltrated the borders into Yemeni soil.
Among the seven arrested was Bandar al-Ghamdi, who is now under interrogation in Yemen and who is suspected of being part of a plan for a terrorist operation in Riyadh. Eighteen other militants are listed in a Saudi warrant issued before the bombings in Riyadh which killed 35 people on May 12.
The two countries have already handed over other suspected militants in recent months.
Yemen and Saudi Arabia have come under tremendous pressure from the USA to launch massive arrest campaigns to hunt down any suspected terrorists under the umbrella of the war against terror. Security cooperation between the two countries has increased significantly in the past few months and is concentrated on chasing suspected elements and stopping smuggling of goods and weapons across the border between them.
It was not clear whether he was among the 13 names being discussed with Saudi Arabia.
Four suspected militants, including two men suspected of links to a 2002 attack on the French super tanker Limburg have also been handed over to Yemen by Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Yemen handed over two Saudis to Riyadh for being suspected of belonging to militant groups operating in the neighboring kingdom.