SANAA (AFP) – A local Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen who sheltered foreign militants, including Saudis, has surrendered to authorities, a Yemeni security official said on Sunday.
Jamaan Safian was responsible for the organisation’s activities in the Al-Jawf province, northeast of the capital Sanaa, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
And Safian “was sheltering non-Yemeni Al-Qaeda members, especially Saudis,” the official said.
He did not provide details on how the surrender was negotiated or when it took place.
Safian’s name does not appear on the Yemeni government list of most wanted Al-Qaeda militants.
In the past, Yemeni tribal leaders have negotiated agreements for the surrender of Al-Qaeda members.
The local branch of Osama bin Laden’s organisation is especially active in Yemen’s east.
The group claimed responsibility for an attack in the eastern Shabwa province last month that killed six soldiers.
The Sanaa government has intensified its operations against Al-Qaeda, under pressure from Washington, since the network’s local affiliate claimed the attempted bombing of a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day last year.