Top Qaeda leaders move to Yemen from Iran: Report

A number of leading al Qaeda members, including former spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith of Kuwait, have moved from Iran to Yemen.

Kuwait City: A number of leading al Qaeda
members, including former spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith of
Kuwait, have moved from Iran to Yemen, a Kuwaiti daily said
today citing an intelligence report.

The revelation was made in a classified Western
intelligence report sent to security officials in the Gulf and
a number of Arab countries, Al-Qabas said, citing unnamed
informed sources.

Several top al Qaeda leaders fled to Iran when the US
launched an invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of the
September 11, 2001 attacks. Some have been imprisoned in
Tehran.

"Some of these leaders however have moved to Yemen and
have taken the charges of command and coordination of Al-Qaeda
operations," the report said.

Besides Abu Ghaith, they include Kuwaiti, Gulf and Arab
nationals who are on internationally wanted lists, the report
said. It did not say how the al Qaeda operatives managed to
escape from Iran.

Kuwait, a staunch US ally, stripped Abu Ghaith of Kuwaiti
citizenship in October 2001 because of his alleged links to
the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.

Yemen faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the local branch of Osama bin
Laden`s extremist organisation. It is also fighting Shiite
insurgents in the north and a secessionist movement in
the south.

Gulf interior ministers expressed concern earlier this
week over the "growing activity of the al Qaeda terror
network" following the interception of two parcel bombs
addressed by jihadists in Yemen to synagogues in the US.

In the wake of the parcel bomb plot, which was claimed by
AQAP, US President Barack Obama said the US would press ahead
in a bid to "destroy" the group`s affiliate in Yemen.

Washington has stepped up military assistance and
training to Yemen amid warnings from intelligence officials of
a "virulent" threat from al Qaeda there.

PTI

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