A suspected al Qaeda member blew himself up Wednesday after being cornered by Yemeni security forces, police said.
A police statement said that Sameer Mohammed Ahmed al-Hada, aged 25, was killed after trying to flee from Yemeni security forces who had staked out his house in suburban San'a. Yemeni security forces were met with gunfire during the raid.
Al-Hada ran and in the process attempted to throw a grenade at security officers, police said. The explosive, however, detonated in his hand and killed him instantly. No police were injured.
The incident happened nearby the San'a University at approximately 6:30 p.m. local time. Police arrested a man who was sitting in a car outside al-Hada's house at the time, officials said. No further details on the arrest were available.
Authorities in Yemen said al-Hada was known to have trained in Osama bin Laden's terrorist camps. U. S. sources told CBS News that al-Hada's name came up in documents found in Afghanistan.
Sources at the Yemen Observer newspaper say the suspect is the brother-in-law of Khalid al-Midhar, one of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, reports CBS News Correspondent Vicki Mabrey. Al-Midhar was on the plane that hit the Pentagon.
Al-Hada's other sister is married to Mustafa al-Ansari, one of the names on a list of 17 suspected terrorists released Tuesday by the FBI as part of a warning of a possible terrorist attack against the United States or U.S. interests in Yemen.
The warning identified the possible ringleader as Fawaz Yahya al-Rabeei, a Yemeni citizen born in 1979 in Saudi Arabia. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said al-Rabeei is believed to have links to al Qaeda but is not believed to have been involved in the attack against the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000 that killed 17 U.S. sailors.
At least two terror suspects believed to be in Yemen, Qaed Salim Sunian al-Harethi, allegedly a top al Qaeda official, and Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal, are wanted by the United States for the Cole attack.
Al-Hada's name does not appear on a U.S.-produced list of Yemenis believed to be suspected al Qaeda terrorist group members. However, Yemeni police said several pieces of identification bearing different names were found on al-Hada's body after the explosion. It was not immediately clear what the names were.
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Police officials said that they had learned about al-Hada from his landlord.
According to the police, the lease for the al-Hada's rented home had ended and his landlord asked him for documents to renew the contract. Al-Hada did not provide the documents and the landlord informed the police.
Neighbors told the AP that al-Hada spent most of his time insie his house, rarely had visitors and had claimed to be a San'a University student.
Following Wednesday's explosion, security officers searched al-Hada's house, seizing two pistols, documents, books, a mobile telephone and a piece of paper containing telephone numbers, police said.
Yemeni Interior Ministry officials said they informed U.S. Embassy staff in San'a of Wednesday's incident before making it public. Other police sources said both FBI investigators and Yemeni security officers are studying the documents taken from al-Hada's house.
Police later drove four people from al-Hada's neighborhood away in a car, apparently for questioning, witnesses told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. It was not clear where they had been taken.
Yemen's government admits there may be al Qaeda suspects in the country, but says the network has no military training camps or any other organized presence.
Yemen, the poorest country of the Arabian Peninsula, has committed itself to joining the U.S. war on terrorism. But Yemeni officials say this cannot be done without U.S. training, military assistance and aid.
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