DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – An American of Yemeni descent was arrested in Bahrain and transferred to U.S. authorities investigating an alleged terror cell in upstate New York, a Bahraini government official said Monday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity in a telephone interview from Bahrain's capital, Manama, said the man was arrested last week as part of coordinated efforts between U.S. and local authorities in the Gulf kingdom.
The official said the suspect agreed to go back to the United States to continue the investigation.
The Bahraini official did not have the man's name and had few other details. But it appeared to be the sixth suspect in an alleged New York terror cell trained by Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network and based in Lackawanna, N.Y.
The New York Times reported Monday that a sixth Lackawanna resident, identified as Mukhtar al-Bakri, was arrested in Bahrain. The Times attributed the information to members of al-Bakri's family in upstate New York. A federal official told the newspaper more details on the new arrest would be given Monday.
The suspect had came to Bahrain with his two sons and was about to get married in Bahrain, the Bahraini official told The Associated Press. He had no information on the intended bride.
The U.S. Embassy in Bahrain refused to comment, saying it has been directed to refer all inquiries on the arrest to the Justice Department in Washington.
In New York on Saturday, five Americans of Yemeni descent made initial appearances in federal court in Buffalo on charges of providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization by attending an al-Qaida-run training camp in Afghanistan in the spring of 2001.
The judge entered a "not guilty" plea for each and ordered the men jailed until a detention hearing Wednesday.