An employee of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, was shot dead by masked gunmen Thursday morning, American security sources said. According to sources quoted by news agencies, the attack was conducted in a manner similar to others by Al Qaeda in Yemen.
The employee, Qassem Aqlan, a Yemeni citizen, was on his way to work when gunmen riding motorcycles sidled up to his vehicle and opened fire. Aqlan headed an embassy security team. The attack occurred in the center of Sanaa, Yemen's capital, security sources said.
Among other things, sources quoted by Israel Radio said, Aqlan was leading an investigation into an attack on the Embassy last month. Hundreds of rioters stormed the embassy, overcoming security forces and installations, ostensibly protesting the “Innocence of Muslims” movie that had been posted on the Internet. Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi apologized to the U.S. for the attack, and opened a joint investigation with U.S. officials to determine ways to prevent future attacks. Aqlan was leading the American team investigating the riot.
The identity of the attackers in Thursday's attack was not immediately clear, but security sources said that Al Qaeda topped the list of suspects. The U.S., along with the Yemen Army, has been battling Al Qaeda forces throughout the country, in an effort to suppress the terror group's increasing control of the countryside and interior of Yemen.