Yemen calls US to realese two nationals suspected of supporting al Qaeda, Hamas

Published March 21st, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

A Yemeni official said Sunday that the US authorities did not have any evidence against Sheikh Mohammad al-Moayyad, 54, and his companion, Mohammed Zayed, 29. The pair are being tried by New York court for alleged support to al-Qaeda network and the Palestinian movement of Hamas. 


U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has recently announced that the two Yemeni nationals have been charged with conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda and Hamas. 


The defendants were arrested last year in Frankfurt, Germany, "based on complaints issued in Brooklyn, New York," a Justice Department press release said.  


The Yemeni source, however, said that the American authorities made a mistake by charging the two. In addition, the source criticized the US authorities for pressing ahead in the trial process. It asked Washington for their immediate release.  


Al-Moayyad, a prominent cleric, was known as a fund-raiser for the Palestinians. Yemeni officials said in the past the Yemeni cleric was lured to Germany by agents of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), ostensibly to receive donations for a charity he runs in Sanaa. (

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