Yemen confirmed on Tuesday that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who has tried to blow up a US-bound airliner, was in the country earlier this month. "He stayed in Yemen between the beginning of August and the beginning of December, after having received a visa to study Arabic at an institute in Sanaa where he had previously studied," a Yemeni foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official Saba news agency.
Yemen gave him a visa after security officials were "reassured that he had been granted visas by friendly countries, and still held a valid visa to the US, where he had visited before."
The Yemeni spokesman said that security agencies are investigating "the parties with whom the accused Nigerian was in contact during his time in Yemen." He said the results will be "sent to US agencies investigating the attempted attack, within the framework of US-Yemeni cooperation on security and fighting terrorism."
The spokesman condemned the attack, and said his country, "which has suffered much from terrorism," remains "an active partner in the international community in the war against terrorism." "The Yemeni security services continue to track and carry out operations against the terrorists of Al-Qaeda," he added.