SAN’A, Yemen, (AP) – A Yemeni official says the government would not hand over to the U.S. a radical American-born cleric tied to al-Qaeda because the constitution bans extradition of Yemeni citizens.
The Yemeni-American cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, is believed to be hiding in Yemen since 2004.
Islamic Affairs Minister Hamoud al-Hitar said on Tuesday that Yemen is encouraging al-Awlaki to turn himself in.
He says Washington should provide proof of al-Awlaki’s terrorist ties to the Yemeni justice system.
The U.S. says al-Awlaki is active in al-Qaeda and has placed him on the CIA’s list of targets for assassination, despite his American citizenship. Yemen’s al-Qaeda offshoot last month released a video of al-Awlaki calling for the killing of Americans.