Yemen detains men on arms charge

Eight foreigners with alleged links to al-Qaeda have been arrested in Yemen on suspicion of trying to smuggle weapons to Somalia, the interior ministry says.

    Yemen stopped a plot to attack oil and gas installations

    An official said the alleged smugglers included three Australians, one Danish national, a Briton and a German, but gave no details on the identities of the two others.
       
    "The eight foreigners were arrested because they smuggled weapons to Somalia from Yemen," the official said in a statement posted on the state-run news agency Saba.

    "Preliminary investigations indicate that they are members of al-Qaeda."

    Government sources in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, told Reuters news agency that the eight men had converted to Islam earlier this year and received religious instruction in the country.

    A security official told Associated Press that at least four of the men had been studying at the Iman University, which is run by Sheikh Abd al-Majid al-Zindani. The US considers al-Zindani to be an al-Qaeda supporter.

    Danish national

    A Danish foreign ministry official confirmed the arrest of the Dane, but refused to identify him.

    "All I can say is that a Danish national has been arrested according to our information," said Uffe Wolffheckel of the foreign ministry's consular service.

    Danish media said the suspect is a 23-year-old male who converted to Islam and moved to Yemen two months ago with his wife and child.

    Yemen is believed to be a frequent route for smuggling arms to Somali factions.

    Last month, Yemen claimed that it had broken up an al-Qaeda-linked cell that was behind foiled attacks on oil and gas installations.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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