One of the top Al Qaeda members in Yemen, Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal, was arrested after Yemeni forces surrounded his hide-out west of the capital, San’a, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried on the official SABA news agency. He was captured by security forces Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said, calling him a suspected mastermind of the homicide bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 American sailors, and the bombing of a French oil tanker off the country’s coast.
Folks, don’t get too complacent after hearing about this arrest; despite the presence of many amateur warriors, al-Qa’ida cells and militant Islamist terrorists in general, reflect an extraordinary amount of patience, planning, and intelligence in their successful operations such as the 1998 embassy bombings, the bombing of the USS Cole, and the September 11 attacks. The embassy bombings were planned years in advance and involved a scale model manufactured in an Afghan camp.
The Cole bombers took advantage of a four-hour window of opportunity available every other month to attack the U.S. naval vessel. The details and planning involved with the September 11 attacks ranging from how the perpetrators entered the country, to their flight training, to their surveillance of airport security, to their coordination of flights, are all remarkable, and prove how deviant — and desperate — is the nature of the unevolved.