“Whatever Happen To COMMON SENSE”?
TAEZ, Yemen — An al Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility Sunday for shooting dead an American teacher in Yemen, saying he was a Christian missionary, a statement by the jihadist group said.
Fighters of Ansar al Shariah — or Partisans of Shariah, the Islamic religious law — “killed an American Christian missionary” in the city of Taez, according to a statement circulated by a cell phone message and confirmed by a source close to the group cited by AFP.
“The attack is in response to a Western campaign to preach for Christianity among Muslims,” it said. A boy walks past the spot where two gunmen riding a motorbike shot dead a US citizen who worked as the deputy head of a language school in Yemen.
Assailants on a motorcycle attacked the man, who was the deputy director of a Swedish language center in the city, 173 miles (270 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Sanaa, a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity. After the shooting, the gunmen fled the scene.
The victim was shot dead in his car in Taez city, FOX News reported, citing Taez Province governor Hamoud al Sufi, who said earlier that an investigation was underway.
The US embassy in Sanaa said it also was investigating the killing. FOX News sources added that the FBI planned to launch its own investigation. The attack came two days after a Yemeni official said suspected al Qaeda gunmen abducted a Swiss woman, also a teacher at a language school, in the Red Sea port of Hodeida and moved her to the restive province of Shabwa.
The local branch of al Qaeda is active in the south and east of Yemen, but not in Taez, which was a major center for the yearlong opposition movement against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh that forced the veteran leader to step down last month.
More than 200 people were abducted in Yemen during the past 15 years, many of them by members of the country’s powerful tribes, who use them as bargaining chips with the authorities. Almost all of those kidnapped were later freed unharmed.