statements attributed to the defendants
following extracts from the defendants' "confession" statements were first
published in Arabic in the Yemeni army newspaper, 26 September, on January 28 and
February 4, 1999. They are included here in translation to give English-speaking readers a
clearer picture of the allegations levelled against the men. Readers should be aware that
(with one exception) all the defendants deny the charges and have since retracted the
statements, so the contents should not be regarded as indicating guilt, or otherwise.
Malik Nasser Harhara
Muhammad Mustapha Kamil
attributed to MUHSIN GHAILAN
MUSIN GHAILAN, aged
18, is Abu Hamza's stepson.
Ghailan said he attended
a meeting in the Supporters of Shariah (SOS) office in London last September. A man called
Amin who had come from Yemen showed pictures of Abu al-Hassan and said that he was the
leader of the Islamic Army which had a camp in Abyan with about 400 members and held
training sessions for various weapons. "Then he showed us a printed announcement
which sought recruits for the army. It was mentioned in the announcement that their aim
was to separate the south [of Yemen] from the north." After showing the document, Abu
Hamza asked those present to go to Yemen.
Five days after that meeting, Malik Harhara went to Yemen.
On his arrival, Harhara phoned the others to come. Then Abu Hamza gave Ghailan $2,000 and
told him someone called Abu 'Isa would meet him at Sana'a airport.
Ghailan flew to Yemen with Abd al-Rahman al-Jaza'iri [the
suspect with the French passport]. Two days after they had arrived in Yemen, Abu 'Isa
called them and took them to his house and on the second day took them to Shabwa in his
car. In the Habban district of Shabwa they met Abu al-Hassan who went with them to the
house of another person (named Abu Ali) outside Habban.
Abu al-Hassan talked to them and said that he was banished
and hunted by the government, and that he wanted to separate the south from the north and
was preparing for that. He said he would take them both to the training camp.
Ghailan says his training, and that of the others, began
the day after that meeting. There were 25 trainees, divided into groups. It lasted two
Ghailan says that on November 4 he left Sana'a for
Britain. "The time had come to leave the army. We must fight and we were ready to
liberate the south." Malik Harhara, Sarmad Ahmad and Ghailan were sharing the task
[of bombing in Aden]. Shahid Butt and al-Jaza'iri were preparing the explosive in a villa
which the group had rented. Harhara undertook to move the explosives from the villa to the
hotel. Sarmad brought the explosives into a room at the hotel which was used for parties.
Ghailan rented a room in the hotel where he could keep a
look-out for any movement.
That evening, according to Ghailan, Abu al-Hassan had
provided the explosives at a meeting in Abyan. They comprised: 5kg TNT, five mines and two
rocket launchers. The explosives were switched from Abu al-Hassan's car to that of the
three suspects. After being paid, they left for Aden in the rented Daewoo car which was
later stopped in the Khormaksar district of Aden.
Ghailan says that when he eventually returned to Yemen,
Abu Hamza gave him £3,000 sterling, asking him to give it to Abu al-Hassan along with
some GSM communication equipment, a small video camera and some films.
attributed to SARMAD AHMAD
SARMAD AHMAD said he
became acquainted with Abu Hamza in June 1998, along with Harhara, Butt, Ghailan and
al-Jaza'iri. Abu Hamza urged them to support "jihad" in Afghanistan, Kosovo and
Egypt "because they do not follow the Islamic Way".
Abu Hamza promised to arrange all their travel and training in
When Sarmad later met Abu al-Hassan in Abyan, he told him
he would be trained in various weapons at his camp.
The task which Ghailan undertook was to bomb the Aden
Hotel on December 25. He accepted that he had written the documents which were found in
his possession when he was in London undertaking a course in guarding important
personalities, map-reading, reconnaissance, etc.
attributed to MALIK NASSER HARHARA
HARHARA came from
Britain to Aden airport in July 1998, a month after meeting the others at the SOS office
in London. Abu Hamza asked him to go to Yemen because he is Yemeni. He stayed in his
uncle's house in Crater and after three months was contacted by Abu al-Hassan, who sent
someone to take him to Shabwa, where he stayed in someone else's house in the `Azaan
district for about a month.
Then Abu al-Hassan came
and took him to the training camp on the Habban road, where Usama al-Masri [one of the
kidnappers who was killed] and another man called Abu Abdullah supervised his training.
[Statement then gives technical names for the weapons he
was taught to use.]
attributed to AL-JAZA'IRI
His real name is Abd
al-Rahman Said 'Amr. He said that in 1997 he came to Britain from Algeria. He applied for
political asylum and handed in his Algerian passport to the British authorities who
provided him with a house and £80 a fortnight as a political refugee. He obtained a
French passport in Britain through one of Abu Hamza's supporters who was of Tunisian
origin and had French nationality.
Ahmad, Butt, Harhara and others at the SOS office in London After arriving in Yemen he met
Abu al-Hassan at his house in Shabwa and underwent training at his camp.
Al-Jaza'iri was assigned to a number bombings on New
Year's night in the Shadhrawan restaurant in Crater, the tourist club and Khormaksar.
They had instructions, in the vent of failure of any
operations, to flee the country immediately via Sana'a airport to Britain. In the event,
they could not do this because when Ghailan hired the Daewoo car he had to deposit his
passport with the car's owner. Mustapha Kamil's passport was in the possession of another
of the suspects.
Meanwhile they were in the Sakhra hotel in Aden trying to
find a solution when the police came and arrested them.
attributed to SHAHID BUTT
Butt said he got to
know Harhara in London. They went together to Abu Hamza at his mosque and Butt asked for
help with travel to Kosovo. But Abu Hamza asked him first to distribute SOS literature in
London and other cities before training in weapons. He worked with Abu Hamza for six
months. Then Abu Hamza asked him to go to Yemen for "great work": he would be
sent to Abu al-Hassan for weapons training and after that he would grant his wish and send
him to Kosovo.
Butt arrived in Yemen on November 28
and was met by Harhara. He got to know Abu al-Hassan in the training camp, as well as
'Usama al-Masri and a Tunisian called "Abu Huraira".
Butt said that when he came to Yemen from Britain he
brought with him some British passports for use if needed. They were left with Abu
attributed to GHULAM HUSSEIN
HUSSEIN said his
connection with Abu Hamza began when he was working in Luton and attending the Islamic
Cultural Centre in the town and Abu Hamza gave lectures there. Later he went to London and
met Abu Hamza who told him: "After Afghanistan, Yemen is the [most] suitable country
for training mujahideen" because the nature of Afghanistan resembles that of Yemen.
attributed to MUHAMMAD MUSTAPHA KAMIL
MUSTAPHA KAMIL ("Abu Antar") is the son of Abu
Hamza al-Masri. British; born in London, October 6, 1981.
He says he arrived in Yemen via Aden on November 28, 1998.
He says that before coming to Yemen he frequented Finsbury Park mosque and heard Abu
Hamza's lectures and sermons inciting people to jihad, and, recently, inciting them to
He went to Yemen to join the Islamic Army of Aden because
his father considered Yemen ripe for jihad.
Abu Hamza's father provided his son and another young man,
"Ali Muksin", with tickets and £3,000 sterling, promising them more money on
their return. He told them a man called Hatim would meet them at Aden airport and take
them to Abu al-Hassan, whom they must heed and obey.
When he arrived with his companion at Aden airport they
were met by Hatim, Muhsin Ghailan, Malik Nasser Harhara and two others. They went to the
Bab Aden hotel and spent three days there without going out of the hotel, in accordance
with the advice of Ghailan and Harhara. On the fourth day they made a tour of Aden in two
"saloon" cars rented by Ghailan and Harhara.
Then they went to the Markha district of Shabwa province
and met Abu al-Hassan at his house, where they remained for a week.
They asked him if they could go with him and he said jihad
was a difficult path, covered with thorns and blood, requiring a lot of patience. After
that he took them to the camp. There were four of them: Muhammad Kamil Mustapha, "Ali
Muksin", Muhsin Ghailan, and "Abu Hamza".
In the camp they found Muhammad "Abu Huraira",
Abu Dajana, Abu Ra'id, Abu Bassam, Abu al-Barra'
They stayed in the camp for three
days, learning to use a Kalashnikov, but not other weapons.
They returned to Abu al-Hassan's house and spent five days
there, meeting Iyad "Abu Thabit" and Shazad "Abu Dhar". (Kamil says he
did not know them in Britain and did not know when they arrived in Yemen.)
He returned to Aden with Shazad, Abad, and Ghailan after
spending a fortnight in Shabwa with his friends. After 10 days they went from Aden to
Sana'a and stayed in a room at the Roma hotel (in Harhara's name because they had left
their passports with Ghailan in Aden).
They spent three days in Sana'a then went again to Shabwa
by car. They arrived there in the evening and slept in the Sudanese mosque. Abu al-Hassan
and Abu Hamza were in the mosque. In the morning they went to Abu al-Hassan's house and
stayed there two days before going to the camp, where they stayed for one day until Abu
al-Hassan came with the news that there was a problem because the young men had been
caught in Aden with explosives
After informing them of this, Abu al-Hassan ordered the
Yemeni youths to go home and took the foreigners to his house. After that he took them to
the house of a man called Muhsin and ordered them to remain there. Abu al-Hassan then
On the following day, news arrived that Abu al-Hassan had
kidnapped some foreign tourists and been arrested. Usama al-Masri and Ali al-Hajj had been
After a week, Abu Huraira and Abdullah al-Junaid - who had
both taken part in the kidnapping - joined them and stayed in Muhsin's house for the
remainder of Ramadan.
Kamil says that before their arrest by security forces
they had left Muhsin's house as requested and gone to a wadi where, on the following day,
they were surrounded and arrested.
Kamil says in his statement that before he came to Yemen,
a man called Amin, who was aged about 30, came to London. He met Amin in his father's
house and he talked about Abu al-Hassan and the Islamic Army
Kamil says that Abu al-Hassan obtained support from Abu
Hamza, who in turn obtained funds from donations to his father's bank account in London in
the name of "Supporters of Shariah". The donations came from "many rich
He added that someone called Yasser al-Siri ("Abu
Umar") is in London and had been in Yemen for more than a year. He had a connection
with Abu al-Hassan and had remained in contact even after the arrest of Abu al-Hassan.
attributed to IYAD HUSSEIN
("ABU THABIT") is of Pakistani origin, with British nationality. He says he
arrived in Yemen on November 13 from London, accompanied by his cousin, the accused Shazad
Nabi. They were met at Aden airport by Harhara, who knew both of them from school in
Birmingham. Immediately after their arrival, Horhara took them to his house, where he put
them up for a week before they moved to a hotel in the centre of Aden.
Then they rented a car from a hire company and went to Habban in
Shabwa to the house of Hatim [bin Farid] where they met Abu Ali and Abu Antar, who Iyad
recognised as the son of Abu Hamza, whom he had previously become acquainted with in
Iyad admits that in Shabwa he learned to use the RPG,
machine gun and revolver, as did his cousin. They were trained by a friend of Harhara.
attributed to SHAZAD NABI
NABI is a cousin of Iyad Hussein. He has British nationality.
He says he was encouraged to go to Yemen by Malik Nasser
Harhara. Iyad and his cousin phoned Harhara three weeks beforehand to find out the travel
procedures and then called him a second time to meet them at the airport. They stayed in
Harhara's house for a week but moved to a hotel after he told them his family was going to
return. Then they rented a car for a week at £45 sterling per day and went to Shabwa.
They arrived at the house of Hatim [bin Farid] where they
met Abu Hamza's son, "Abu Antar", and Abu Ali. They were visited in Hatim's
house by the accused Abu Huraira. Later they went to Sana'a and stayed in a hotel, then
from there to Aden, and then to Habban in Shabwa where they returned to the house of Hatim
He was taught to use a revolver, a machine gun and RPG.
attributed to KAMAL ALI MUHAMMAD SAGHIR
("Abu Ali"; also referred to as "Kamal Barakan") is an Algerian who
came to Britain one-and-a-half years ago and applied for political asylum. Has a French
He says he came to Yemen from Britain on
November 28, entering via Aden. The name in his passport was "Ali Muksin".
He says he used to pray in Finsbury Park ... When he
decided to go to Yemen he bought a passport for £400 sterling in the name of Ali Muksin
and also a ticket, and after that he had £400 in cash. He says he did not obtain any
money from Abu Hamza.
He arrived in Yemen on November 28 in the company of
His statement disagrees with that of Mustapha Kamil
regarding their movements in Yemen and the areas they visited. He adds that at the camp of
Abu al-Hassan he saw various weapons, but he did not do any training with revolvers or