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Al-Qaeda financier held in Yemen

world Updated: Jun 14, 2009 18:36 IST
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Yemeni police have detained a Saudi man suspected to be the main financier of al-Qaeda operations in Yemen and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the defence ministry said on Sunday.

It said in a statement posted on its website that the suspect, identified as Hassan Hussein bin Alwan, was "the financier of the operations carried out by members of al-Qaeda in Yemen and Saudi Arabia".

It further described him as "one of the most dangerous al-Qaeda terrorists". The statement gave no further details on the suspect or location of the arrest.

A security source told DPA that the arrest took place in the desert province of Marib, some 190 km northwest of the capital Sanaa on Friday.

In January, Yemen launched a countrywide manhunt for Yemeni and Saudi fugitive al-Qaeda members after the group announced the merger of its branches in Yemen and Saudi Araiba into the 'al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula'.

The new group, headed by Nasser al-Wahishi, former secretary of Osama bin Laden, is believed to have some 1,200 militants from both countries hiding in four desert provinces in north and east of Yemen.

Yemen, a close US-ally in the "fight against terrorism", was itself the scene of deadly attacks in recent months.