Authorities have uncovered multiple Al-Qaida terrorist plots targeting government institutions in the port city of Aden, a security official said on Saturday.
Twenty-two alleged militants were arrested in connection to the plots including three Al-Qaida masterminds, said the official. Documents including forged passports and visas were found with the detainees, who were operating in two groups, he said.
One of the groups allegedly was planning to target government facilities and blow up cars containing explosives using a remote control, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
The other group was planning to carry out suicide attacks, storm prisons and launch a wave of kidnappings, according to the official.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told newspapers on Thursday that his government is cracking down on militants, but his comments fell short of claiming that terrorism is being eliminated.
"Nobody can claim that we have controlled terrorism, but we are alert and we follow up," Saleh told Al Wasat, an independent newspaper. "There are sleeper cells, which sometimes wake up, but our security apparatus is always alert and never rests."
The arrests came less than a week after Yemeni authorities announced the arrests of nine suspects in connection with the early July suicide attack on a Spanish tour group.