Saudi Arabia says al-Qaeda behind kidnapping of diplomat in Yemen
Saudi Arabian authorities said Tuesday that al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of its diplomat in Yemen last month, and has demanded the release of militants imprisoned in Yemen plus a ransom, dpa reported.
Deputy Consul Abdullah al-Khaldi was kidnapped in the southern port city of Aden on March 28.
The Saudi embassy in Yemen received a call from a known fugitive "indicating that he represented (al-Qaeda) and confirming their responsibility for the abduction of the Saudi deputy consul in Aden," according to General Mansour al-Turki, spokesperson of the interior ministry.
Al-Turki added that the kidnappers demanded the release of all female al-Qaeda prisoners in Saudi Arabia "and their handover to us in Yemen," as well as the release of other named prisoners.
The spokesman condemned the kidnapping, saying that "those responsible for this criminal act bear full responsibility" for the al-Khaldi's safety.
He said that Saudi and Yemeni authorities were working together to investigate the crime.
Al-Turki said that the fugitive is on a list of the kingdom's most-wanted Saudi terror suspects.