BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: World: Middle East  
News Front Page
World
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent
-------------
Letter From America
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 5 November, 2002, 12:55 GMT
Profile: Ali Qaed Senyan al-Harthi
Ali Qaed Senyan al-Harthi
Al-Harthi: proved difficult to catch
Ali Qaed Senyan al-Harthi is believed to be one of those killed in the CIA missile strike on a car travelling in Yemen.

Al-Harthi has eluded the clutches of both US and Yemeni authorities for many months.

He was a prime target in the US counter-terrorism campaign because of his suspected involvement in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole ship in Yemen's Aden harbour, in which 17 sailors were killed.

A US defence official called him "one of the kingpins" in the attack.

Also known as Abu Ali, he is thought to have had a long history of involvement with al-Qaeda and was considered the network's top operative in Yemen.

'Holy warrior'

It is believed he fought alongside Osama Bin Laden in the war against the Soviet army in Afghanistan.

Osama bin Laden
Al-Harthi was a "close associate" of Osama bin Laden
After the war, he became a close associate of Bin Laden in Sudan in the early 1990s.

Some reports have suggested he acted as the al-Qaeda leader's bodyguard before Bin Laden moved back to Afghanistan in 1996.

Having returned to Yemen, al-Harthi is thought to have gone into hiding last year after finding out he was wanted by the US authorities investigating the USS Cole attack.

Lawless

In about August 2001, he moved to the village of al-Hosun in the Yemeni province of Marib, in the mountainous area east of the capital Sana'a, along with Muhammad Hamdi al-Ahdal - another USS Cole bombing suspect.

The province is both one of Yemen's most important - it produces 40% of the country's oil - and one of its most lawless.

Yemeni tribesmen
Tribal leaders, not governments, rule the roost in Marib province
Kidnappings are fairly commonplace and Yemenis rarely travel the region unarmed.

Government forces must obtain the permission of local tribal chiefs before venturing into the area.

In December 2001, a government squad on the trail of the two fugitives experienced the perils of the region first-hand.

An assault on al-Hosun intended to net both suspects ended in a bloodbath, with the death of 18 soldiers and six tribesmen.

Both suspects got away.


Key stories

European probe

Background

IN DEPTH
See also:

05 Nov 02 | Middle East
Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes