Yemen police say foiled attack on US embassy staff

Yemen police have prevented a man from bombing a US embassy car in Sana`a.

Sana`a: Yemen police said on Friday they prevented a man from bombing a US embassy car in Sana`a, and were investigating whether the Jordanian suspect, who was carrying fake identity papers, had ties to al Qaeda.

The US State Department said on Thursday an embassy vehicle was attacked in Sana`a on Wednesday.

"On December 15, 2010, a US embassy vehicle was attacked in Hadda, a suburb of Sana`a, Yemen, where it was parked in front of a restaurant frequented by Westerners. We can confirm that four American embassy personnel were in the vehicle and no one was injured," it said.

A Yemen security official said that Yemen police charged with protecting embassy staff caught the attacker when he tried to plant explosives next to the embassy car as it stopped outside a pizza restaurant in Sana`a.

The young man, a Jordanian citizen who is a resident of Yemen, had weapons and false identity papers in his car, the official said, adding that police were still trying to determine if he had links to al Qaeda.

Impoverished Yemen is struggling to combat a resurgent wing of al Qaeda based in the Arabian Peninsula state. It is also trying to quell a separatist rebellion in the south and maintain a shaky truce with Shi`ite insurgents in the north.

In October, the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for two US-bound parcel bombs that were intercepted in Britain and Dubai. It was its second foiled attack on US targets using aircraft.

The militant group also took credit for a botched attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound aircraft last December, and for two attempts to attack British embassy officials this year.

Bureau Report