News / Middle East

Yemen Foils Plot to Kill Former President Saleh

FILE - Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh
FILE - Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Reuters

An aide to Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Thursday his security team had uncovered a plot to kill him with explosives planted in a tunnel running to a mosque inside his residential compound in Sanaa.

Yemen's authorities said they were investigating.

Saleh, who stepped down in 2012 amid mass protests against his rule after more than three decades in office, remains an influential figure in the country and still has many enemies.

He has survived at least two assassination attempts, the latest in June 2011 when he sustained serious burns and several senior officials and aides were killed.

Abdullah al-Mughrabi, Saleh's private secretary, said the plot came to light following a tip-off to his security guards from one of the people involved in digging the tunnel.

“Initial investigations showed that the tunneling began four months ago and its purpose was to assassinate the former president and his aides,” Mughrabi told Reuters.

“The tunnel had reached under a small mosque at the house which is used by the former president and top leaders of his political party.”

Mughrabi said Saleh's security went to inspect the tunnel and detained five people on the spot. Three of them were handed to Yemen's top security team, a committee headed by the minister of interior.

An interior ministry official confirmed that three suspects had been turned over to the authorities by Saleh's security team and said others were being sought for questioning, but declined to give further details.

Saleh retains the post of head of the General People's Congress, the former ruling party and a main partner in the coalition government that was set up after he stepped aside.

His departure under a Gulf-brokered power transfer deal in which his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, succeeded him, was accompanied by bitter disputes, including over his being granted immunity from prosecution by parliament.

Critics say the former president abused his office for personal gain and must stand trial for it. Saleh has denied any wrongdoing.

The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution in February authorizing sanctions against specific individuals who obstructed the country's political transition or committed human rights violations.

Yemen's central government is struggling to restore its authority after several years of political upheaval and insecurity.

Washington has a stake in stability in Yemen, where Islamist militants have plotted attacks against international airlines, because the country shares a long and porous border with the world's top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia.   

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More