Political Analysis

Hadda Restaurant Attack Struck CIA Agents

A US embassy vehicle attacked with an explosive device on Wednesday night contained four CIA agents, according a US official speaking on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press.

The bombing, details of which remain unknown, consisted either of a grenade or an explosive-laden satchel planted under the armored Toyota Hilux pick-up truck, or in its rear bed.

The explosion reportedly occurred outside a pizza restaurant frequented by foreigners in the upscale Hadda neighborhood.  The blast sent pieces of the car flying, according to eyewitnesses, but left the occupants of the car unharmed.

Previous press coverage of the incident had mentioned only the targeting of an “embassy vehicle” or “US embassy staff.”

A “warden message” message issued by the US embassy in Sana’a confirmed the incident, but withheld information on the nature of the personnel in question: “foreign residents in Sana’a, Yemen were targeted for attack.”

State Department spokesman PJ Crowley, speaking from Washington DC, confirmed the incident and considered the deliberate targeting of US interests “likely.”

The unnamed US source, however, maintained that there had been “no indication that the perpetrators knew specifically who they were targeting.”

Yemeni security forces announced that it had begun an investigation and that several suspects, including a 28-year old Jordanian mechanic, had been detained in relation to the incident.

Firearms and explosive materials were discovered in the suspect’s possession, according to the Yemeni police.

The embassy statement urged U.S. citizens to “remain vigilant regarding their personal security.”