Yemeni authorities have arrested the financier of Al-Qaeda operations in the country and in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, an official said Sunday, as cited on the defence ministry news website.
"The arrested man is named Hassan Hussein bin Alwan, a Saudi national, and he is the financier for attacks launched by Al-Qaeda organisation in Yemen and Saudi Arabia," the unnamed security official told September Net website.
"He is considered one of the most dangerous members of Al-Qaeda," he added.
In January the local Al-Qaeda branch in Yemen announced in a video message posted on the Internet the merging of the Saudi and Yemeni branches into "Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," led by a Yemeni, Nasser al-Wahaishi.
Yemen, the ancestral land of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has witnessed a number of attacks claimed by the organisation in recent years against foreign missions, tourist sites and oil installations.
The New York Times reported on Friday that dozens of Al-Qaeda fighters and some of the extremist group's leaders are shifting to Somalia and Yemen from their haven in Pakistan's tribal areas amid US military pressure.
But a Yemeni official on Saturday dismissed the report as "fabrications that are baseless" claiming that Yemen "is not a suitable place for terrorists to use as a safe haven."