Nigerian suspect in US airline attack spent 2 periods of time in YemenBy Ahmed Al-haj, AP
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Airline attack suspect spent 2 periods in Yemen
SAN’A, Yemen — The Nigerian man accused of trying to attack a U.S. airliner on Christmas day lived in Yemen for two different periods of time, a year from 2004-2005 and from August-December this year, a Yemeni government official said Tuesday.
Yemen’s government said Monday that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was in Yemen from early August to early December this year after receiving a visa to study Arabic in a school in the capital San’a. Information Minister Hassan al-Lozy said Tuesday he also spent a second period in the country from 2004-2005.
Al-Lozy also disclosed that the Yemeni embassy in Washington is tightening controls on visas for students. The embassy has been instructed not to issue any more visas to students who want to study in the country without Interior Ministry approval.
He said the American government had not provided Yemen with any information about Abdulmutallab to warrant putting him on a watch list.
“We didn’t get any notice from the Americans to put this man on a list,” al-Lozy said. “America should have told Yemen about this man as they have of others.”
Yemen’s Foreign Ministry said Monday Abdulmutallab was granted a Yemeni visa after authorities were reassured that he had “several visas from a number of friendly countries.” It noted that Abdulmutallab had a valid visa to the United States, which he had visited in the past.
The San’a Institute for the Arabic Language told The Associated Press that Abdulmutallab was an Arabic student at the school in August this year.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attempted attack on the airliner and said it was retaliation for a U.S. operation against the group in Yemen.
Tags: Christmas, Embassies, Middle East, North America, San'a, Sana'a, United States, Yemen