Yemen acquits 19 in 'al-Qaeda plot'

A Yemeni court has acquitted 19 men, charged with planning attacks against US interests in the country, due to lack of evidence.

    Yemen joined the US-led war on terrorism after the 9/11 attacks

    The men, including five Saudis, had been accused of plotting to carry out attacks to avenge the CIA's killing in Yemen of a top al-Qaeda operative in 2002 with the help of a drone.

     

    Prosecutors had said the 19 travelled to Iraq and then returned to Yemen to carry out their "mission" on the orders of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda leader in Iraq who was killed in a US air raid a month ago.

     

    "The court decided to acquit the accused due to lack of evidence," the judge said.

     

    Yemen, the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born al Qaeda leader, joined the US-led war on terrorism after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

     

    The country has cracked down on al-Qaeda-linked fighters and groups following attacks at home, including the bombing in 2000 of the US warship Cole and an attack in 2002 on the French supertanker Limburg.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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