Yemen claims it has arrested a top al Qaeda leader
A Yemeni street vendor selling clothes waits for customers near the historical site of Bab al-Yemen in the the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP / Hani Mohammed)
Published Saturday, December 1, 2012 10:26AM EST
SANAA, Yemen -- Yemen's Interior Ministry says police have arrested an al Qaeda leader who is one of the country's most wanted fugitives.
The ministry, in a statement late Friday, said Suleiman Hassan Mohammed Murshed Awad was arrested in Zinjibar, the capital of southern Abyan province, once an al Qaeda hotbed. It did not say when he was arrested.
Awad, also known as Abu Osama al-Abi, was "one of the most dangerous criminal elements in al Qaeda who is involved in killing security men and joining others in terrorist attacks on foreign targets in Sanaa."
Washington, which considers Yemen's al Qaeda branch the group's most dangerous offshoot, helped Yemeni troops with airpower and advisers last summer. The offensive drove al Qaeda militants out of southern cities, including Zinjibar.