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Al-Qaida kills top Yemeni intelligence official

February 2, 2011

Xinhuanet, 2 Feb 2011: The Yemen-based al-Qaida wing executed a top intelligence official after Sanaa government refused to swap two al-Qaida detainees for the senior official, a video tape posted by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on the internet on Tuesday said.

“Deputy Director of the Yemeni Political Security Service, Colonel Ali Mohammed Salah al-Husam, was executed, with bullets fired at the back of his head, after he admitted that he had spied on Mujahedeen in the previous years,” they said in the 17-minute videotape.

The group said al-Husam was running a network of espionage in Saada for 20 years and had snatched many of al-Qaida-related ideology students and held them incommunicado in prisons.

“The execution of this officer is also a message to those intelligence officers who still work for Sanaa government and the U.S. intelligence agencies,” the group added.

Last September, the AQAP set 48 hours for Sanaa government to swap two al-Qaida detainees for al-Husam.

“There will be no way to know the fate of this agent unless the government releases the two brothers, Hussain al-Tais and Mashhour al-Ahdal, within 48 hours,” according to their statement which posted on Sept. 21 website.

They said, according to the confession of Colonel al-Husam, the two al-Qaida members al-Tais and al-Ahdal were arrested by northern Shiite rebels in a checkpoint in al-Jouf province, northeast of the capital Sanaa, and were then handed over to the intelligence director of Saada.

On Friday, the deputy leader of the Yemen-based AQAP, Saeed Ali al-Shihri, declared “holy war” against the Houthi-led northern Shiite rebels, in an audio message posted on the internet.

Yemen has witnessed sporadic battles since 2004 between government troops and northern Shiite rebels. The government has been accusing the rebels of seeking to re-establish the clerical rule overthrown by the Yemeni revolution in 1962 that created the Yemeni republic.

The U.S.-backed Yemeni government has intensified security operations and air raids against terrorist groups after the Yemen- based al-Qaida wing claimed credit for a botched attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound passenger plane last December.

 

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