Yemen: Westerners arrested for terrorism

Last Wednesday Danish news reported that an ethnic Danish national was arrested in Yemen for weapons smuggling. Turns out he was part of a weapons smuggling ring that is now being charged with terrorism. All together, eight westerners were arrested, apparently all converts to Islam.

Eight foreigners with alleged links to al-Qaeda have been arrested in Yemen on suspicion of trying to smuggle weapons to Somalia, the interior ministry says.

An official said the alleged smugglers included three Australians, one Danish national, a Briton and a German, but gave no details on the identities of the two others.

"The eight foreigners were arrested because they smuggled weapons to Somalia from Yemen," the official said in a statement posted on the state-run news agency Saba.

"Preliminary investigations indicate that they are members of al-Qaeda."

Government sources in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, told Reuters news agency that the eight men had converted to Islam earlier this year and received religious instruction in the country.

A security official told Associated Press that at least four of the men had been studying at the Iman University, which is run by Sheikh Abd al-Majid al-Zindani. The US considers al-Zindani to be an al-Qaeda supporter.

Danish national

A Danish foreign ministry official confirmed the arrest of the Dane, but refused to identify him.

"All I can say is that a Danish national has been arrested according to our information," said Uffe Wolffheckel of the foreign ministry's consular service.

Danish media said the suspect is a 23-year-old male who converted to Islam and moved to Yemen two months ago with his wife and child.

Yemen is believed to be a frequent route for smuggling arms to Somali factions.

Last month, Yemen claimed that it had broken up an al-Qaeda-linked cell that was behind foiled attacks on oil and gas installations.

Source: Aljazeera (English)

See also: Scandinavian Terrorism

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