Yemen demands US frees top imam

Yemen has demanded the US should immediately free the imam of Sanaa's grand mosque and his bodyguard detained in the US on charges of funnelling funds to al-Qaida.

    Al-Muayad is accused of links to the 2000 attack on USS Cole

    Washington had committed a "serious mistake" and brought charges against Imam Muhammad Ali al-Muayad and Muhammad Muhsen Yahya Zayid "without any proof", an anonymous government official said in the Yemen capital Sanaa on Sunday.

     

    The official deplored "the obstinacy of the American authorities in persisting in their error".

      

    The pair, who were caught in a sting in Germany, appeared for a preliminary hearing in a district court in Brooklyn, New York, in November on charges of conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaida and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

     

    Allegations

      

    They were arrested by Germany's Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) in January 2003, in Frankfurt, at the request of the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

      

    Al-Muayad is said to have been a finance chief for Usama bin Ladin's al-Qaida and Hamas, supplying both organisations with weapons and communications equipment.

      

    He has also been linked to the October 2000 attack on the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen which killed 17 crew and injured 38.

      

    Zayid was charged as an accomplice.

      

    The authorities in Yemen have repeatedly demanded they should be returned to Sanaa.

      

    Washington has also branded another senior Yemeni figure a "terrorist", prompting Yemen to demand proof of accusations against Abd Al-Majid al-Zindani, the head of the central committee of Yemen's leading opposition Islamist party Al-Islah.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Strong quotes for Martin Luther King Jr Day

    Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr that resonate today

    Quotes of justice, education, religion and race said by MLK Jr.

    Bitcoin: Know the risks before you buy

    Bitcoin: All you need to know before you buy

    'Bitcoin is right now the riskiest investment you can make.' Here are the risks you should consider before you buy.