Al Qaeda’s No.2 in Arabian Peninsula arrested in Yemen

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow : Yemeni security forces have detained a senior commander of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen Observer newspaper reported Tuesday.

Support TwoCircles

Said Ali al-Shihri, second-in-command of the terror group, was captured Monday on the border between the Shabwa and Lamankib provinces in southern Yemen, the paper said. His car reportedly overturned as he tried to go around a military checkpoint at high speed.

At least one other militant was captured. “They were rushed to the hospital and put under guard,” the Xinhua news agency quoted a statement posted on the Yemeni Interior Ministry’s website.

Said Ali al-Shihri spent six years at the US military prison in Guantanamo but was sent to Saudi Arabia as part of a rehabilitation programme

He has been second-in-command of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula since 2008, and was accused by the US of being involved in an attack that year on the US Embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

Last week, the Yemeni authorities said local Al Qaeda commander Qassim al-Raimi was killed in an airstrike together with five other members of the group.

However, Al Qaeda claimed Monday the statement was a “lie” and the militants were just lightly injured in the attack.

The issue of security in Yemen has been high on the agenda since the failed bomb attack on a US-bound plane Dec 25.

A 23-year-old Nigerian national, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, tried to blow up a passenger jet from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. He was detained and charged with attempting to carry out a terrorist attack. The suspect admitted that he had undergone training at an Al Qaeda camp in Yemen.