SAN`A, Yemen April 5 —
A suspected al-Qaida member named in a year-old FBI terror alert
was one of 11 arrested in Yemen last week, police said Saturday.
Fawaz Yahya al-Rabeei was one of 17 people linked to Osama bin
Laden's al-Qaida group in a February 2002 FBI alert that warned of a
potential attack on the United States or against U.S. interests in
He was arrested March 28 with 10 others in the northern province
of Marib, said a police official, who spoke on condition of
anonymity. The arrests involved a helicopter-chase 100 miles
northeast of the capital, San`a.
Al-Rabeei, also known as Furqan, is believed to be a Yemeni
national born in Saudi Arabia in 1979.
U.S. officials have said al-Rabeei is believed to have ties to
al-Qaida but is not linked to the October 2000 attack against the
USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden, in which 17 U.S. sailors were
Yemeni officials said on Tuesday at least two of the 11 arrested
were on the government's most wanted list.
The other most wanted suspect, whose name was not released, is
believed to be involved in a November attack on a helicopter that
injured two employees of Hunt Oil company, as well as explosions in
Yemen last year that were claimed by al-Qaida supporters.
Yemen had long tolerated Muslim extremists, but after the Sept.
11 attacks on the United States, it committed itself to joining the
war on terrorism and has allowed American forces to train its
military in combatting terrorists.
In November, a CIA Predator drone fired a missile at a car in
Yemen that was carrying several suspected al-Qaida operatives,
killing Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, bin Laden's top operative in
that country. It was the first such operation outside
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or