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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Mining Reform

Mining Reform

Foreign firms with India units could mine, sell coal - source.  Full Article 

No Deflation Fears

No Deflation Fears

Indian consumers respond to softer oil, food prices.  Full Article 

West at Fault

West at Fault

Iran supreme leader blames West for Islamic State rise, wants regional solution.  Full Article 

Yazidi Genocide

Yazidi Genocide

Islamic State onslaught on Yazidis may be attempted genocide - U.N..  Full Article 

IS in India

IS in India

India says Islamic State not yet a threat.  Full Article 

Denying Claims

Denying Claims

Singer Kesha denied drug, sex claims against producer three years ago.  Full Article 

Top Editor Dies

Top Editor Dies

Former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee dies at 93.  Full Article 

Diwali Pollution

Diwali Pollution

Delhi braces for worst air quality this Diwali week.  Full Article 

Goal Fest

Goal Fest

Champions League sets record with 40 goals in one night.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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