Yemen arrests 20 linked to terror cell

Monday, January 20, 2003

CAIRO Yemeni sources said security forces have arrested about 20 people linked to Islamic insurgency movements in the Arabian Peninsula. The sources said the detainees have been charged with plotting a series of bombings and assassinations against Westerners in Yemen.

The London-based Al Hayat daily reported on Monday that the leader of the Islamic cell was Ahmed Jarallah. Jarallah was captured last month after he allegedly assassinated a key Yemeni leftist politician during a conference in Sanaa.

Jarallah was also said to have been linked to an attack on a Yemeni hospital and the killing of three American health workers, Middle East Newsline reported. A suspect was caught in the attack.

Yemeni sources said the Islamic insurgency cell planned to kill Yemeni intellectuals and Westerners in the country. The targets included journalists, clergy and politicians.

Moreover, the cell also drafted a list of targets for bombings. The sour ces said the targets included both Yemeni government as well as foreign diplomatic installations.

Al Hayat reported that Yemeni security agencies seized weapons and explosive material during the capture of the suspected insurgents. The newspaper said the suspects also confessed to the alleged plot.

But the sources said authorities have not yet determined that the cell was part of the Al Qaida network. The sources said the suspects held views similar to Al Qaida and some of them came from Afghanistan.

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