Yemen Arrests Five Members of Suspected Al Qaeda Cell

Police arrested five members of a suspected Al Qaeda (search) cell planning attacks against Western targets in Yemen (search), a security official said Monday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the suspects were arrested Friday. He did not elaborate.

The arrests followed the detention earlier this month of five suspected members of the same cell, including two Syrians and one Yemeni woman, and seizure of evidence linked to alleged attack plots.

The five arrested Friday are believed to be among six cell members who officials had listed as being at large following the arrests made earlier this month. One of the six was thought to be hiding in Saudi Arabia.

Yemen's September 26 military magazine, which is close to the president's office, said in a special edition Monday that Yemeni authorities have arrested most members of the suspected cell. The magazine did not say how many people have been arrested or remained at large.

During the arrests, authorities found manuals to make explosives and use weapons as well as other documents, including eight money transfer receipts from Arab and African countries, the magazine said.

On Sept. 28, Yemeni Interior Minister Rashad al-Eleimi met the U.S., British, German, French, Italian and Spanish ambassadors to share intelligence and ask them to warn their citizens about possible attacks.

Yemen, located on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, has been a target for homicide bombings and other attacks in the past three years and is the ancestral home of Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden (search). Militants have also attacked a U.S. Navy destroyer, kidnapped Western tourists and killed American missionaries working at a hospital.

The government joined the U.S.-led war on terror following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, cracking down on Islamic extremists and allowing the FBI to open an office there.

It has also upgraded cooperation with neighboring Saudi Arabia to stop weapons and fugitives flowing across their borders.