Saturday, September 20, 2008

US Embassy in Yemen targeted in complex assault - The Long War Journal

US Embassy in Yemen targeted in complex assault - The Long War Journal: "Yemeni security forces repelled a complex attack on the US Embassy in the capital of Sana'a. More than 16 were killed after terrorists detonated multiple bombs then launched a ground attack in an attempt to breach the compound.

The attack began after several bombs were detonated just outside the embassy. The terrorists then ambushed the first responders by using prepositioned snipers. The terrorists were wearing uniforms of Yemeni security forces and driving what appeared to be police cars, which enabled them to get close to the heavily fortified compound.

A sustained firefight then ensued between the terrorists and the embassy guards. The exchange of fire included machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and hand grenades according to one report. It was reported that one of the attackers was wearing a suicide vest. Six attackers were killed as well as a dozen Yemeni security forces.

Two Americans are among several civilians reported to have been killed in the attack. The family of Susan Ali Elbaneh, a US citizen, said she was killed today in the terrorist attack in Yemen. The 19 year old Yemeni-American was one of the civilians killed outside the embassy during the attack. The newlywed Elbaneh was alongside her husband of two months, a family member reported.

Susan Elbaneh is a relative of Yemeni-American Jaber Elbaneh who is on the FBI's most wanted list. Yemen has refused to extradite him. There are no indications that Ms. Elbaneh's presence at the embassy was anything more than a random occurrence. She accompanied her sister in law who had an appointment with the embassy. Ms. Elbaneh's nephew, aged three, may also be among the casualties.

The US withdrew nonessential personnel in March due to terror threats and only recently decided to reverse that decision.

A group calling itself Yemeni Islamic Jihad took credit for today's attack. The group last month claimed responsibility for a July suicide car bombing at a police station in Hadramout killed one policeman and injured 18. "

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