Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
YEMEN SANAA - Yemen confirmed yesterday that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who has been charged with trying to blow up a US-bound airliner, was still in the country earlier this month, after the local Al-Qaeda branch claimed the attempted bombing.
"He stayed in Yemen between the beginning of August and the beginning of December, after having received a visa to study Arabic at an institute in Sanaa where he had previously studied," a Yemeni foreign ministry spokesperson said.
The spokesperson did not provide details on Abdulmutallab's previous stay in Yemen, saying only that Yemen gave him a visa after security officials were "reassured that he had been granted visas by friendly countries, and still held a valid visa to the US, where he had visited before".
Abdulmutallab, 23, is a Nigerian Muslim and the son of a wealthy banker. US security officials have told the media that he is suspected of receiving training from Al-Qaeda. But the US government has been cautious about linking the failed attack to Osama bin Laden's network.
His family has said he travelled to Yemen, where he cut ties with them.
The Yemeni spokesperson said that security agencies were investigating "the parties with whom the accused Nigerian was in contact during his time in Yemen".
He said the results would be "sent to US agencies investigating the attempted attack, within the framework of US-Yemeni cooperation on security and fighting terrorism".
He condemned the attack and said his country, "which has suffered much from terrorism", remained "an active partner in the international community in the war against terrorism".
"The Yemeni security services continue to track and carry out operations against the terrorists of Al-Qaeda."
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is active in Yemen and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, said in an Internet posting on Monday that it masterminded the attempted bombing.
Abdulmutallab is accused of attempting to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight carrying 278 passengers and 11 crew from Amsterdam to Detroit on December 25 using a device containing PETN, also known as pentaerythritol, a high explosive. Fellow passengers overpowered him. - Sapa-AFP