The security forces in Aden have revealed the identities of suspects accused of involvement in two deadly attacks in the southern Yemeni city.
Counter-terrorism forces captured the suspects, who are being linked to October’s attacks on the city’s governor Ahmed Lamlas, in which six people died, and a blast at Aden airport that killed five.
The Supreme Security Committee said on Sunday that the October 10 attack on Mr Lamlas and Salem Al Socotra, a government minister, “was orchestrated and carried out by a Houthi-funded terror cell led by a terrorist called Mohammed Ahmed Al Maisari, along with another terrorist called Ahmed Ali Al Baydani”.
The October 30 attack at Aden’s airport claimed the lives of five civilians and injured more than 40 people. The Supreme Security Committee said this was orchestrated and carried out by terrorists belonging to a Houthi-backed cell led by a man called Saleh Wadeea Hadad.
The committee posted video footage in which the men admitted that they were working for the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. They said they had travelled to the capital, Sanaa, where they were hosted by senior Houthi leaders.
The October blasts were followed by a November 9 car bomb attack on journalist Mahmoud Amin Al Otmi, which killed his pregnant wife and their unborn baby.
The authorities urged residents not to hide information that could lead to terrorists being apprehended.
Yemen’s security forces identified the suspects after weeks of intelligence gathering, according to Brig Ali Al Awlaki, head of the Aden security operations room that links all security units in the city.
“The intelligence of the security forces in Aden succeeded in penetrating a major terror network which has been financing, equipping and managing the terror cells in the southern areas,“ he told The National.
“Countering terrorism is a priority for us, with support from the Arab Coalition states, and we will not spare any effort until we fully eradicate its roots in the region.”
A ‘crucial victory’
Military analysts called the arrests a “crucial victory” for Aden’s security forces, one that could lead to the discovery of other terrorist cells.
“Capturing major elements in the terror cell which carried out the last terror attacks in Aden is a crucial victory for the security authorities in the city,” Maj Gen Thabet Hussein Saleh, a senior analyst in the Yemeni military, told The National.
“This accomplishment is much appreciated because it revealed the identity of those who funded, orchestrated and carried out the October terror attacks in Aden and it will rebuild trust between the people and the security forces in the city.”