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Posted: 11/25/2003 12:17:45 PM EDT
Story

SAN'A, Yemen — Security forces on Tuesday arrested one of the top Al Qaeda members in Yemen, a suspected mastermind of the homicide bombings of the USS Cole and a French oil tanker off the country's coast, the Interior Ministry said.

Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal was arrested after security forces surrounded his hide-out west of the capital, San`a, the ministry said in a statement carried on the official SABA news agency.

Al-Ahdal, also known as Abu Assem al-Makky, is one of the two main leaders of Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network in Yemen, according to security reports published in the Yemeni press.
Yemeni security officials believe the Saudi-born al-Ahdal, 32, was one of the masterminds of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 U.S. sailors and the 2002 bombing of the French oil tanker, the Limburg.

In each of those attacks, an explosive-laden boat was piloted up to the larger ship and detonated. The Limburg attack killed a Bulgarian crew member and spilled 90,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Aden.

Al-Ahdal, who is also on the U.S. list of wanted terrorists in Yemen, was also accused of planning an abortive attack last year on a five-star hotel where some FBI investigators were staying.

The statement said al-Ahdal was found after several months of extensive efforts by security forces.

Witnesses said security forces fired in the air to force al-Ahdal to surrender. The official statement did not mention any shooting.

Al-Ahdal has been described as the main coordinator of Al Qaeda activities in Yemen, ranking second to Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, bin Laden's top lieutenant in Yemen who was killed last November in a missile attack from a CIA-operated Predator drone. Yemeni media reported that al-Harethi was replaced by Abu Ali el-Kandahari.

The security reports say al-Ahdal fought in Bosnia and in Chechnya, where he lost his left leg below the knee and was fitted with an artificial leg. He allegedly traveled several times to Afghanistan in 1999 and 2000, and to Ethiopia in August 2000.

Al-Ahdal was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 1999 and spent 14 months in prison for maintaining connections with bin Laden. He was then deported to Yemen.

He is married and has four children.

Link Posted: 11/25/2003 12:27:53 PM EDT
Excellent! ...now hand me that torch and those pliers.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 12:35:31 PM EDT
Any bets on when he'll "escape" [rolleyes] from his fellow-Muslim's custody???
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 12:43:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dredd308: He is married and has four children.
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Not for long..... [devil]
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 12:44:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: Any bets on when he'll "escape" [rolleyes] from his fellow-Muslim's custody???
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I was thinking the same thing, while I was posting that.
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