Yemen will not extradite Anwar al Awlaki if captured


Yemen’s foreign minister said that his country will not extradite American-born, radical al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki if detained. As SABA today reports:

Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi has said that Yemen would not hand Anwar al-Awlaki to the U.S.

The man the U.S. wants to be extradited will stand trial in Yemen under the national law, the minister said in an interview with the Kuwaiti Al-Dar Newspaper.

We have clearly said that because of his recent terrorist activity, al-Awlaki is now wanted by the Yemeni government; hence, he must be tried once he is captured and convicted in his homeland but never by other governments, he added.

Yemen’s position over handing the man to the U.S. is clear and firm because we refuse to hand our people to other countries, he affirmed.

Awlaki provided assistance to three of the Sept. 11 hijackers, and provided guidance and justification to the perpetrators of two of the most recent attacks in the US: Major Nidal Hasan, the US Army doctor who murdered 13 soldiers at a deployment center at Fort Hood, Texas, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who failed to detonate a bomb on an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day. Awlaki recently said he was “proud to have provided training and guidance to Hasan and Abdulmutallab.” Awlaki also is thought to have inspired Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square car bomber.

Yemen has a horrific track record in dealing with al Qaeda operatives, as the government is riddled with al Qaeda supporters and sympathizers. Several wanted al Qaeda leaders and operatives roam free in Yemen. See the list here.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Yemeni citizen says:

    Yemeni government will not extradite him because he is supporting him if not closing eyes about his activities to attract donors to help Yemen.
    Ali Mohssen, President brother, is the one supporting terrorists all yemeni know that.
    they should collaborate and give him to USA because he is american and he commited crimes against USA citizens

  • anan says:

    Part of the Yemeni establishment is pro AQ and sees them as strategic assets that can be deployed against the Iranian backed Shiites.

  • James says:

    Anwar al-awlaki of Sanaa Univerisity, a place he may well “call home.” At least though the Yemenis know what he really is, that being a Yemeni national born on foreign soil (the US).
    This guy was never a US citizen. Arguably, just to pretend that he ever was, he would have relinquished such citizenship ages ago.
    At least one major weakness of Awlaki appears to be his un-Islamic desire for prostitutes (in addition to maybe strip bars?).
    If I were CIA, I’d be looking hard at pimping out or placing local Yemeni prostitutes around Sanaa University to gain intel (actionable or otherwise) on Awlaki; or at the very least surreptitiously bugging them.

  • Mike says:

    If this is the case, the US should never allow him to be captured. Kill him.


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