Yemeni man killed in Sana’a Al Qaeda blamed for attack [Archives:2002/45/Front Page]

November 4 2002

A Yemeni was killed after unidentified armed tribesmen launched an attack on the house of a well-known tribal sheikh here early yesterday.
The Gulf News reported this week that the “gunmen bombarded the upper part of the two-storey house with rocket-propelled grenade projectile late at night. The sheikh’s bodyguards chased the attackers and killed one of them.”
The house is located in the heart of a residential complex belonging to Shiekh Abdul Azeez Al Shaif in the northern suburb of Sanaa.
Shiekh Al Shaif, chief of the Bakil tribe, the second largest tribe in Yemen, told reporters after the attack that Al Qaeda was behind the assault.
“Terrorist elements affiliated to Al Qaeda Organization targeted my house because of my cooperation with the authorities in pursuing them,” he said.
However, officials ruled out Al Qaeda was behind the attack, saying that it was only an act of revenge act between the Al Shaif tribe and another from Barat district.
Tribal sources told Gulf News that the supporters of Shiekh Al Shaif were blockading the tribe of Al Ashabi in Barat district, the tribe of the attackers.
Two weeks earlier, armed men attacked Al Shaif’s other house in Al Jawf province, 170km east of Sanaa. Windows of the targeted house were broken and a gaping hole left in the wall of one bedroom, an AFP correspondent reported.
The family of the Sheikh’s son Mohammad, an MP and chairman of parliament’s human rights committee, occupies the building in the compound.
U.S. military personnel have been deployed in Yemen to help Sanaa crack down on suspected militants of the Al Qaeda terror network in the wake of the September 11, 2001, suicide hijackings in the United States.
The family of Saud-born Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden hails from Yemen.
Clashes involving tribes are common and often bloody in Yemen, where the number of firearms in civilian hands is officially estimated at more than 60 million, or more than three per inhabitant.
Meanwhile, a tribal source told The Yemen Times that al-Qaeda members are not behind the attack. “The attackers belong to the al-Qasemi and Ashaef tribes where the Shiekh belongs to,” the source added.
Ashaef told The Yemen Times earlier that the attackers are of al-Qaeda members. The Shiekh cooperated with the authorities to hand over al-Qaeda suspects such as Abu Abdurahman al-Jazaeri.
Official source at the interior ministry said that the reason behind the attack was due to criminal motives and that the al-Qaeda members have no links with such attacks.