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MENAFN - Arab News - 02/07/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Al-Qaeda is plotting a terrorist attack on a US airliner, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing intelligence sources.

The broadsheet said Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had recruited a Norwegian Muslim convert and given him terrorist training in Yemen, and that the group were believed to have selected a US passenger jet as a target.

"The Norwegian recruit goes under the Islamic name of Muslim Abu Abdurrahman," the newspaper said. "He is understood to be in his thirties and a "clean skin," with no previous criminal record. He converted in 2008 and quickly became radicalized. "He later traveled to Yemen where he has spent several months to complete his training."

The CIA foiled a similar AQAP plot to blow up a US-bound airliner in May, reportedly using a double agent who infiltrated the group and volunteered for the suicide attack. Separately, a Yemeni soldier and an Al-Qaeda militant were killed yesterday as militants tried to raid a village in the southern province of Daleh, the ministry's reported.

Separately, a Yemeni soldier and an Al-Qaeda militant were killed yesterday as militants tried to raid a village in the southern province of Daleh, the Defense Ministry's website reported.

Security forces "foiled an attempt by a group of Al-Qaeda terrorists to infiltrate into ... the village of Shueib in Daleh province early on Sunday," Daleh security chief, Gen. Ali al-Amri, was quoted as saying on 26sept.net, website of the Defense Ministry.

The forces, backed by local militiamen, besieged the group and demanded they surrender, he said.

"But they refused and opened fire wounding one citizen and sparking clashes that killed the group's leader and wounded two others," said Amri, adding that nine militants were also arrested.

One soldier was also killed in the clashes, said a text message which AFP received from 26sep.net.

Daleh province is adjacent to Abyan where Yemeni forces succeeded last month in regaining control of a string of towns which the militants overran in May last year.

Taking advantage of a central government weakened by an Arab Spring-inspired uprising last year, Al-Qaeda-linked militants had captured Zinjibar, Jaar, Shuqra and other villages across Abyan.


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