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.
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