- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2002

SAN'A, Yemen (AP) A suspected al Qaeda member, believed to have links to one of the September 11 hijackers, blew himself up yesterday after being cornered by security forces in a San'a suburb.
Sameer Mohammed Ahmed Hada, 25, was trying to flee from Yemeni authorities who had staked out his house in San'a, police officials said.
Authorities believed Hada was a brother-in-law of Khalid Midhar, one of the 19 hijackers from the September 11 attacks, and also a brother-in-law of one of the 17 men named by the FBI in an alert issued Monday warning of a potential terrorist attack, said a U.S. government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Officers approached Hada as he left his house, but the suspect ran and tried to throw a grenade that detonated in his hand and killed him instantly, police said. No police were injured.
Hada was the son of Ahmad Mohammad Ali Hada, a known al Qaeda operative, said the U.S. official.
However, the suspect's name does not appear on a U.S.-produced list of Yemenis believed to be al Qaeda members.
Police arrested a man who was sitting in a car outside Hada's house at the time, the Yemeni officials said on the condition of anonymity. No further details on the arrest were available.
The explosion, which happened near San'a University, came two days after the FBI issued a warning of more terrorist attacks either in the United States or against U.S. interests in Yemen. It identified 17 men believed to be involved in the plans.
The warning identified the suspected ringleader as Fawaz Yahya Rabeei, a Yemeni citizen born in 1979 in Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. official said Rabeei is believed to have links to al Qaeda but is not believed to have been involved in the attack against the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000 that killed 17 U.S. sailors.
At least two terror suspects believed to be in Yemen, Qaed Salim Sunian Harethi, believed to be a top al Qaeda official, and Mohammed Hamdi Ahdal, are wanted by the United States for the Cole attack.
Police said that they had learned about Hada from his landlord.
Police said the rental contract had ended and his landlord asked Hada for documents to renew the contract. He did not provide the documents and the landlord informed the police.
The police began inquiries and learned he was an active al Qaeda member in Yemen and that he also had been to Afghanistan. They did not specify when he was there.
Neighbors told the Associated Press that Hada spent most of his time inside his house, rarely had visitors and had claimed to be a San'a University student. After yesterday's explosion, security officers searched Hada's house.

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