SANAA, (Reuters) – Yemeni forces have arrested eight foreigners with suspected links to al Qaeda who were smuggling weapons from Yemen to Somalia, a senior Interior Ministry official said on Sunday.
The official said four of the smugglers held Australian passports and one was a Danish national, but gave no details on the identities of the three others.
“The eight foreigners were arrested because they smuggled weapons to Somalia from Yemen,” the official said in a statement posted on the state-run news agency Saba. “Preliminary investigations indicate that they are members of al Qaeda.”
Government sources in the Yemeni capital told Reuters that all eight had converted to Islam earlier this year and received religious instruction in Yemen.
Last month, Yemen said it had broken up an al Qaeda-linked cell that was behind foiled attacks on oil and gas installations.