- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 4, 2002

SAN'A, Yemen The United States will begin new operations against the al Qaeda network in Yemen after finding evidence of the group's role in last week's bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya, a well-informed Yemeni source says.

Washington has informed Yemeni authorities of its plans to capture alive suspected al Qaeda members, the source said.

Thursday's suicide attack on the Paradise Hotel in Mombasa killed 16 persons. An attempt to down an Israeli chartered flight over Kenya failed.

After the Mombasa bombing, U.S. Central Forces Command in the Horn of Africa decided to change its tactics in the war on terrorism.

According to information from U.S. Navy officers, the United States will carry out pre-emptive strikes against targets in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia, which have become "havens for terrorists and al Qaeda operatives."

"Yemen and the United States are coordinating a large-scale attack on suspected al Qaeda members in several Yemeni provinces," said the Yemeni source, who requested anonymity. He said the United States is targeting the provinces of Marib, Shabwah, Jawf and Hudaydah on the Red Sea all believed to shelter members of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.

The source said he expected a large-scale attack in a few days, and that the upcoming operations were intended to hunt down and capture suspected al Qaeda members instead of killing them.

On Nov. 3, the CIA used an unmanned aircraft to kill Qaed Senyan al-Harithi, believed to have been the senior al Qaeda figure in Yemen, and five companions as they traveled by car in the rugged mountainous region of Marib.

Yemen and Washington have cooperated on intelligence and security issues since the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Aden harbor in which 17 sailors were killed.


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