Yemeni forces eliminate terror cell in Aden

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


Yemeni men and security forces inspect the site of a suicide bombing in the southern port city of Aden, on November 5th. Security forces in the city have been on high alert since eliminating a terror cell December 12th. [STRINGER/AFP]

Aden's security department has been on high alert since last week, when a raid in the port city uncovered a terror cell, a weapons workshop and a list of the names of the cell's intended targets, local officials told Al-Mashareq.

On Tuesday (December 12th), the department's special anti-terrorism unit, emergency forces and security support units raided an apartment in al-Qahera neighbourhood.

Three terrorists had barricaded themselves inside the apartment.

"The security agencies raided the apartment where the terrorists were staying," said Aden security department spokesman Capt. Abdul Rahman al-Naqeeb.

"The terrorists used machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and assault [weapons] to attack the security forces, wounding three security personnel," he told Al-Mashareq.

"Two terrorists were killed, while the third blew himself up when he was cornered," he said.

After the raid, the security units discovered a workshop that had been used to rig vehicles with explosives, he said.

They also found a large number of weapons and explosives, including RPGs, anti-tank mines, explosive vests, remote control detonators, large quantities of the highly explosive C-4 and M72 LAW anti-tank weapons, he added.

"The security units also found documents and lists of names of [Yemeni security] officers the terrorists had been monitoring for assassination," he said.

Heightened security measures

Aden security chief Maj. Gen. Shalal Shaya on Wednesday chaired an extensive meeting of security commanders, police station chiefs and security department directors, al-Naqeeb said.

Shaya stressed the need to step up security measures to counter terrorist plots, and "the need to intensify efforts, consolidate performance [and] develop the role of criminal investigations and intelligence gathering".

Integrating intelligence and operations between the various security agencies was a key contributor to the success of the Tuesday raid in Aden, terror group expert Adnan al-Humairi told Al-Mashareq.

"It is crucial that security forces be placed on high alert to foil terrorist plots," he said. "Terrorist groups are trying to make Aden a scene for their operations in order to spread chaos and disrupt security."

Local media reported that security forces in Aden on Saturday (December 16th) thwarted a suicide operation shortly before it was carried out.

According to a military source, the investigation unit at the Emergency Forces Camp in Aden's al-Bureiqeh district arrested a cadet as he prepared an explosives vest.

He had been reportedly planning to blow himself up among other cadets.

Aden has been the scene of several car bomb attacks lately, including a November 28th attack outside the Yemeni Finance Ministry offices in the city, that killed at least two people.

On November 14th, the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) claimed a car bomb attack that killed 10 people, including civilians, at a security post in Aden used by UAE-trained security forces.

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