Yemen Arrests Suspected Al Qaeda Financier

Yemen has arrested a Saudi man suspected of financing Al Qaeda cells in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, an Interior Ministry official said Sunday.

The official, who did not give an exact date of the arrest, said that authorities captured "the biggest and the most influential" money provider for Al Qaeda in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Hassan Hussein Bin Alwan, a Saudi, was in charge of financing attacks in the two neighboring countries, added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

The announcement indicated that Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists are still actively attempting to destabilize the Saudi monarchy that holds a quarter of the world's proven oil reserves, as well as neighboring Yemen, the region's poorest nation.

Bin Alwan has been charged with forming a terrorist group in Yemen and financing its activities.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden, had long been a haven for Islamic militants and was the scene of the October 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors.

Yemen is also the Arab world's poorest nation — and one of its most unstable — making it fertile territory for Al Qaeda to set up camp.