Yemen denies al-Qaeda infiltration of security forces

Yemeni security forces March 25 arrested six suspects in the attack nine days earlier that killed four South Korean tourists. Authorities say the cell is also suspected in a bombing a few days later against a convoy carrying South Korean government inspectors that caused no serious injuries. Security forces are hunting other members of the group, which they say was planning further attacks on tourists and oil installations. (Bloomberg, March 25)

Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Security Affairs Rashad al-Alimi meanwhile has denied press reports that said “al-Qaeda has penetrated the Yemeni security.” In a statement on the official Defense Ministry website, al-Alimi said that “allegations” first published on the local are baseless. reported March 24 that al-Alimi had said in a closed parliamentary session the previous day that “We found out security elements affiliated with al-Qaeda.”

Many members of the Parliament had called for a closed session to discuss the latest terrorist attacks in the country, particularly those that targeted the South Koreans in Hadramout and Sana’a. Four Korean tourists were killed in Hadramout’s Shibam district in the first attack. The second attack, on official South Korean convoy in Sana’a, resulted in no victims other than the 18-year teen suicide bomber. (SANAA, March 25;, March 24)

See our last posts on Yemen and al-Qaeda.