- The Washington Times - Friday, May 16, 2014

The man who masterminded al Qaeda’s first attack on the United States is now a security official in Yemen, Buzzfeed reported Thursday.

Jamal al-Nahdi fought the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Afterward, he was recruited by Osama bin Laden in 1992 to conduct a pair of bombings in Somalia, which would target U.S. troops who were deployed for Operation Restore Hope.

Nahdi wanted a pair of simultaneous bombings: one at the Aden Mövenpick hotel and another at a second resort hotel, the Gold Mohur, where his intelligence suggested the Marines were staying,” Buzzfeed reported.

The attack did not going as plan for the nascent organization — Nahdi accidentally blew off one of his hands trying to set the charge for at the Mövenpick hotel, and he planted his other bomb in the wrong location — but two people were still killed in the botched strike.

Buzzfeed’s investigation points out that while Nahdi claims to have switched allegiances, his hiring “raises questions as to the extent that jihadis and al Qaeda sympathizers have infiltrated Yemen’s security services at the same time the U.S. has been pouring millions into the country in an effort to combat the terrorist group.”

The former terrorist would not discuss his past with the media outlet for the story, only saying: “I’m now a colonel in the Interior Ministry and was appointed as an assistant to the director of security for [Yemen’s major sea port of] Mukalla.”

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