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

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

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

Boat Tragedy

Boat Tragedy

Boy and girl on Korean ferry tied life jackets together before they drowned.  Full Article 

Big Buyback

Big Buyback

Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion.  Full Article 

Put A Ring On It

Put A Ring On It

Actress Jodie Foster marries girlfriend Alexandra Hedison.  Full Article 

Solar Dispute

Solar Dispute

Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India.  Full Article 

Champions League

Champions League

Benzema strike gives Real Madrid edge over holders Bayern Munich.  Full Article 

Most Beautiful

Most Beautiful

Lupita Nyong'o is named the world's most beautiful person by People magazine.  Slideshow 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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