Local News

Yemen Jails al-Qaeda Suspect for Three Years

By Naharnet Newsdesk

A Yemeni court on Sunday sentenced a suspected member of jihadist network al-Qaida to three years in prison for taking part in attacks in the capital Sanaa, state media reported.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a franchise of the global jihadist network, is active in Yemen and is seen by Washington as its most dangerous branch.

The suspect, Abdullah Saad Ghazi al-Rimi, was found guilty of “belonging to an armed al-Qaida group” and involvement in “criminal acts in 2012 against officers and members of the security and armed forces” and security installations in Sanaa, the official Saba news agency said.

The judiciary in Yemen has stepped up trials of al-Qaida suspects in recent months, handing 10 alleged members of the network sentences ranging from two to seven years in prison after convicting them of taking part in attacks.

AQAP took advantage of a decline in central government control during a 2011 uprising — which eventually forced president Ali Abdullah Saleh from power — to seize territory across the south.

The militants were driven back in June 2012 and the group has been weakened by U.S. drone strikes.

But AQAP remains active in southern and eastern Yemen, and regularly carries out hit-and-run attacks on security forces.