Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

No resolution in sight for Air France dispute

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Prospect of separation from Scotland stirs feelings of sadness in England and Wales

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is Valls crying wolf?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Fighting back against facial recognition

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: UN takes over country's peacekeeping

Read more

WEB NEWS

News media urged not to show ISIS videos

Read more

DEBATE

Fighting the Islamic State group: What coalition against jihadists? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Fighting the Islamic State group: What coalition against jihadists?

Read more

middle east - do not use

Up to 300 Al Qaeda militants hiding in country, foreign minister says

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-30

Yemen’s foreign minister says the country could be home to up to 300 Al Qaeda militants, some of whom may be planning attacks on Western targets, similar to Friday's attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound plane.

REUTERS - Yemen’s Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said on Tuesday there could be up to 300 al Qaeda militants in his country, some of whom may be planning attacks on Western targets.

“Of course there are a number of al Qaeda operatives in Yemen and some of their leaders. We realise this danger,” he told BBC radio.

“And they may actually plan for attacks like the one we have just had in Detroit.”

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen, has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attempted bombing of a Delta Airlines plane as it approached Detroit.

Asked to specify the exact number of al Qaeda operatives, Qirbi replied: “I can’t give you really an exact figure. There are maybe hundreds of them: 200, 300 -- I don’t have real (hard) figures.”

Nigerian suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, charged with trying to blow up the plane on Christmas Day, lived in Yemen from August to December.

He is said to have told the FBI that there are many more like him prepared to carry out such attacks, according to the BBC report.

Qirbi called for proper intelligence-sharing to stop al Qaeda suspects from travelling to Yemen from countries known to be hotbeds of militancy such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

He appealed for more help from the international community to train and equip counter-terrorist forces to neutralise them.

“We have to work in a very joint fashion in partnership to combat terrorism,” he said. “If we do that, the problem will be brought under control.

The United States, Britain and the European Union could do much more to improve Yemen’s response to counter the threat, he said. “There is some support that is coming, but I must say it is inadequate.”

“We need more training, we have to expand our counter-terrorism units and this means providing them with the necessary military equipment and ways of transportation; we are very short of helicopters.”

Date created : 2009-12-29

COMMENT(S)