Al Qaeda in Yemen offers bounty for U.S. ambassador

DUBAI Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:32pm IST

U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein speaks during an interview in New York October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files

U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein speaks during an interview in New York October 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid/Files

Related Topics

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda has offered a bounty for anyone who kills the U.S. ambassador to Yemen or an American soldier in the impoverished Arab state, a group that monitors Islamist websites said.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said it was offering three kilograms of gold for the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa, Gerald Feierstein, the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group said, citing an audio released by militants.

AQAP will also pay 5 million rials to whoever kills any American soldier in Yemen, it said.

The offer, valid for six months, was made "to encourage our Muslim Ummah (nation), and to expand the circle of the jihad (holy war) by the masses," SITE said, citing the audio.

AQAP, mostly militants from Yemen and Saudi Arabia, is regarded by the United States as the most dangerous branch of the network founded by Osama bin Laden.

In September, AQAP urged Muslims to step up protests and kill U.S. diplomats in Muslim countries over a film denigrating the Prophet Mohammad, which it said was another chapter in the "crusader wars" against Islam.

The film provoked an outcry among Muslims, who deem any depiction of the Prophet as blasphemous and triggered violent attacks on embassies in countries in Asia and the Middle East.

Four U.S. officials including the ambassador to Libya were killed in the aftermath. The Pentagon said it had sent a platoon of Marines to Yemen after demonstrators stormed the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa.

A U.S. ally, Yemen is struggling against challenges on many fronts since mass protests forced veteran leader Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in February after decades in power.

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government is trying to re-establish order and unify the army.

Washington, which has pursued a campaign of assassination by drone and missile against suspected al Qaeda members, backed a military offensive in May to recapture areas of Abyan province. But militants have struck back with a series of bombings and killings.

(Reporting by Rania El Gamal; editing by Todd Eastham)

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Expanding Ties

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Interview with Bulgari CEO

Interview: Bulgari CEO

Bulgari CEO: we shouldn’t have left India so we’re back  Full Article 

U.S. in Afghanistan

U.S. in Afghanistan

Obama signs order expanding U.S. Afghanistan role - NY Times  Full Article 

Available For Remake

Available For Remake

Bollywood finally wants to pay the price for remakes  Full Article 

Economic Reform

Economic Reform

Long "to do" list for Modi as clock ticks on reform  Full Article | Related Story 

E-books Case

E-books Case

Apple $450 mln e-book settlement gets final court approval  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Happy Ending" is old wine in an older bottle  Full Article 

Athletes of Year

Athletes of Year

Frenchman Lavillenie, Kiwi Adams are Athletes of Year.  Full Article 

Japan Politics

Japan Politics

Japan PM seeks referendum on "Abenomics" in snap election.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage