Yemen begins trial in absentia for U.S.-wanted Awlaki, other Qaida members
Yemeni security court on Tuesday began a trial in absentia of wanted Yemeni-American Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been put on a U.S. hit list of "capture or kill" for alleged terror plots against the United States, Xinhua reported.
The prosecutors accused Awlaki of inciting Western people, especially Americans.
The 38-year-old cleric was linked to a botched attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound plane last December. It emerged last year that he also communicated extensively by email with Major Nidal Hasan, the army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas.
Awlaki was also linked to several other terror attacks, including 9/11 attacks in 2001.
According to Yemeni security officials, Awlaki is still hiding in remote caves in the mountains in the southeast province of Shabwa.
The court also held a second trial of a Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haidar Shaiee for alleged links with al-Qaida regional wing and for managing its media activities, including the publications of the U. S.-wanted radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki.
The 34-year-old Shaiee, a freelance journalist specialized in al-Qaida affairs, is accused of being a media secretary for the leaders of the terrorist group, including cleric al-Awlaki.
Elsewhere in southeast Yemen, a security court on Tuesday sentenced 16 al-Qaida militants to four-year prison terms each for involving in a terrorist gang and attempt to fake passport to go to Iraq to join al-Qaida affiliation there.
Yemen raised international security concerns again after two parcel bombs sent from Yemen through cargo planes to the United States last week.