Al-Qaeda Leader Surrenders in Yemen

Mihai-Silviu Chirila

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Yemen’s Embassy in the United States announced that an al-Queda leader accused in 2002 of bombing a French-flagged tanker surrendered to the authorities.

Hezam Mujali has been sentenced to death in August 2004 for killing an army officer, and was charged with attacking a helicopter of a Texan company in November 2002.

He escaped prison in 2006, and survived a raid against an al-Qaeda hideout in December 2009.

The surrender of Mujali comes at a time when the Yemeni authorities stopped fighting al-Qaeda after dozens of officers were killed or maimed. Yemeni officials said they would try to cooperate with other international forces to the purpose of eradicating the terrorist activity in Yemen.

Yemen announced that earlier this month another operative, Jonaan Safian, accused of harboring many al-Qaeda operatives, surrendered to the authorities. The Arab country is fighting a terrorist organization called al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has come to the attention as they tried to bomb a trans-Atlantic flight that was landing in Detroit.

The Treasury Department designated Anwar al-Awlaki as key leader of the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and froze any bank accounts in his name. Al-Awlaki is an U.S. citizen and an Islamic cleric, and has pledged allegiance to the leaders of AQAP, playing a major role in setting the strategic direction for this terrorist organization.11

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