YEMEN: AL QAEDA OFFERS BOUNTY FOR U.S. AMBASSADOR, SOLDIERS

Washington Times on December 30, 2012, published an AP report on Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen offering to pay tens of thousands of dollars to anyone who kills the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa or an American soldier in the country. Excerpts below:

An audio produced by the group’s media arm, the al-Malahem Foundation, and posted on militant websites said it was offering 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of gold, worth $160,000, for killing the ambassador.

The group said it will pay 5 million Yemeni riyals ($23,000) to anyone who kills an American soldier inside Yemen.

It said the offer is valid for six months.

The bounties were set to “inspire and encourage our Muslim nation for jihad,” the statement said.

Washington considers al Qaeda in Yemen to be the group’s most dangerous branch.

The group overran entire towns and villages last year by taking advantage of a security lapse during nationwide protests that eventually ousted the country’s longtime ruler.

In the capital, Sanaa, security officials said two gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed two intelligence officers early Sunday as they were leaving a downtown security facility. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity according to regulations, said all intelligence and security officers have been instructed to take precautionary measures outside working hours.

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