The government of Yemen says it
has arrested a key suspect in the terrorist attack on an American warship three
years ago that killed 17 Americans. The FBI is in the process of verifying the
identity of a man described by Yemen as a top leader of al-Qaida.
The Yemeni government has announced Saudi-born Mohammed al-Ahdal was arrested
Tuesday after security forces surrounded his hideout in the capital, Sanaa.
For three years, Yemeni as well as U.S. authorities have sought his arrest
in connection with the October, 2000 terrorist bombing of the USS Cole. Seventeen
American sailors were killed when a bomb blew a hole in the side of the Navy
destroyer as it was docked for refueling in Aden harbor. The suspect is also
wanted in connection with an explosion aboard a French oil tanker off the Yemeni
coast last year that left one person dead.
Yemen's interior ministry describes Mohammed al-Ahdal as a senior leader
of al-Qaida in the country. A U.S. official who asked not to be identified
says the U.S. government is aware of his arrest but would not comment on details
including when the suspect might be extradited to the United States to stand