01.11.17 Yemen: Location of my 1997 Meeting Identified,
Besides a Town Called Al Qa'idah

al Qa'idah 1 copy


On Friday 26th September 1997 whilst enroute from Taiz city to Yemen's international airport in Sanaa I was taken to an unscheduled meeting. I now believe that meeting was with senior al Qaeda members following very specific conversations I had in Taiz over the previous week. I believe the factory and large defensive compound I had visited in Taiz was an al Qaeda front occupied by large numbers of Pakistani nationals who all attended the madrassa there. The local Yemenis referred to it as ‘the foreigner's compound’.

I can link all these events and business fronts to the Yemeni HSA Group - a $10-billion/annum conglomerate with very close ties to Saudi Arabia. In September 2002 the HSA Group was implicated by the United Nations of links to funding extremist Wahhabi (al Qaeda’s ideology) groups.  The link was Yemeni HSA director and family member Abdul Rahman Hayel Saeed,  who was also co-founder of a Swiss based financial entity called MIGA MIGA, an abreviation of 'Malaysian Swiss, Gulf and African Chamber’ is listed as item 19 in this US treasury list of suspected terror financiers: https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/po3380.aspx

In 2004 Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary Juan Zarate described the Swiss based MIGA as “a very good example of an investment company that is used as a shell to hide and move money.” 

Link to main report: Statement regarding al Qaeda in Yemen, 1997


Report Update

On the 1st November 2017 I finally identified the location of that clandestine 1997 meeting place after studying Google Earth images for quite sometime. The meeting place, an isolated collection of buildings is about one mile from a town called al Qa’idah in Ibb Governorate, Yemen. We followed the route marked in red, through farm fields and then along a dry river bed to the isolated collection of buildings.

al qaeda meeting Friday 26th September 1997

Google Maps Link to al Qa’idah town, Yemen

This close up of those buildings shows our route into the complex by car and the dashed line shows where i was then shown inside one of the first buildings and in to a large room occupied by one long table with seats or benches besides. About fifteen minutes later I was joined in this room by about ten men - men i now believe to have been senior al Qaeda figures hoping to recruit me to their cause.

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Google Maps Link to meeting location

Link to main report: Statement regarding al Qaeda in Yemen, 1997


© Anthony C Heaford 2016