Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saudi Arabia/Yemen: Kidnapped Diplomat Appeals to King Abdullah to Make Concessions

As a follow-up to my posting of April 18, 2012,  al-Qaeda linked militants have posted an online video in which a man identifying himself as Saudi diplomat Abdullah al-Khaldi, kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Yemen in March, appeals to Saudi Arabia's rulers to respond to his captors' demands to spare his life.
In the four-minute clip bearing the logo of al-Qaida's media arm, al-Malahem, that was released on Friday (May 25), the diplomat  appeals to  Saudi King Abdullah to grant the kidnappers' demands, including the release of detained al-Qaeda women.

COMMENT:  The Saudi Interior Ministry has confirmed the kidnapping and said that a Saudi citizen on the kingdom's most-wanted list of terror suspects, Mashaal Rasheed al-Shawdakhi, relayed the demands by telephone to their embassy in Yemen. 

The Saudis report that al-Qaeda's demands include paying a ransom and releasing top al-Qaeda prisoners, both Saudi and Yemeni, currently in Saudi jails, as well as half a dozen women prisoners held there.

It is unlikely that the Saudis or the Yemenis are going to make concessions to al-Qaeda. Consequently, the next step is to see if al-Shawdakhi will carry out his threat to kill al-Khaldi.

This posting will be updated as new information becomes available.