in 1998, two very
different groups of travellers set out from Britain for Yemen.
One group, on an adventure tour with Explore Worldwide,
went in search of history and a traditional culture. The others - a group of young men
from a Muslim background - intended, according to their families, to learn Arabic, have a
holiday and experience life in the Islamic world.
Both trips met with disaster. Ten of the young men
were arrested on terrorism charges. The 16 adventure tourists were taken hostage and four
died when Yemeni forces tried to rescue them.
In both cases there was a common link: to a fiery
imam at a mosque in Finsbury Park, London, and his Yemeni friend, the commander of the
"Islamic Army of Aden-Abyan".
The Islamic Army, according to
Yemeni officials, was part of Usama bin Laden's al-Qa'eda network (see
link to kidnap of tourists, The Guardian, 13 October, 2001).
The reports on these pages pieced together the
evidence as it unfolded. Check our chronology for
later developments ...
likely to free jailed Britons early
The Guardian, 14 September, 2000
Verdict on the Aden
A round-up of later developments
Middle East International, 20 August, 1999
Terrorists or tourists?
The Guardian, 26 June 1999
More than seven months after 10 young men from Britain were arrested in Aden, the British
are unsure what to make of it
Abu al-Hassan: what now?
The following links are no longer available but are included for
Information about the defence of the arrested men can be
found on a website produced by the "Justice
for the Britons in Yemen" campaign.
"to Tony Blair, Paddy Ashdown, William Hague and the British public" signed by
Medical report on six of the
By Dr. C M Milroy, The Medico-Legal Centre, Sheffield.
Medical report (2)
By Dr. Saddaf Alam, Chairman of Mediconcern; General Practitioner, Oldham.