US Diplomat Shot Would-Be Qaeda Kidnappers
Face-off helps Yemen find leader of al-Qaeda-linked kidnapping ring
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 12, 2014 9:27 AM CDT
Yemeni soldiers inspect a car at a checkpoint on a street leading to the U.S. and British embassies in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013.   (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

(Newser) – Last month, a pair of al-Qaeda gunmen attempted to kidnap US diplomats in Yemen's capital. Their plan was foiled, however, when one of the diplomats killed the would-be attackers, a Yemeni official tells CNN. The US has confirmed that a confrontation occurred between officials and "armed individuals," adding that the officials are no longer in Yemen. The attempted kidnapping took place near a barbershop popular with foreigners, says the Yemeni official.

The attackers, he says, were with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, seen as the world's top Qaeda threat to Americans, CNN notes. The barbershop confrontation helped Yemen track down and kill Wael Abdullah al-Waeli, who led a Qaeda-linked kidnapping ring, Yemen's interior ministry tells the New York Times. That ring has been blamed for the death of a Frenchman last week and an attempted assassination last month of a German official, among other attacks. The Yemeni official notes, however, that the US officials shouldn't have been at the barbershop in the first place: "US Embassy personnel are not allowed to leave their secure facilities."