Yemen hands over 8 suspected AQAP members to Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Interior Ministry confirmed reports yesterday that the Kingdom received eight Saudi individuals from Yemen wanted for their involvement in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). This Yemeni deportation of Saudi AQAP fighters is the first handover of terrorists active in Yemen to Saudi Arabia since February, when Yemeni security officials announced that they had handed over 29 Saudi AQAP fighters to the Kingdom.

A spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry, Mansour al Turki, announced the handover yesterday, saying, “As an extension of the security cooperation with the brothers in the Yemeni Republic, and within the framework of the joint security efforts carried out by the security apparatuses in the two brother countries, the security services in the Kingdom have received eight Saudi nationals wanted by the security services, including two who were previously arrested and released.” He emphasized that the individuals in question could not be conclusively linked to the latest AQAP activity in southern Saudi Arabia.

Al Turki added that among the individuals handed over to Saudi Arabia is “a wife of a detainee of the Kingdom’s security services who was lured by elements within the terrorist organization in Yemen to leave the Kingdom in an irregular manner, without the knowledge of her family or husband.” Al Turki reportedly claimed that the woman in question turned herself in to the Yemeni security services after her family convinced her to return to Saudi Arabia.

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