Ali Noman al-Selwi, the father of the suicide bomber who targeted the convoy of the British ambassador to Yemen, told Yemen Observer that his son went to a religious institute with some al-Qaeda suspects.
“ My son, Othman, completed studying Quran at Ibn al-Ameer institute in the secondary years and then was imprisoned along with a few groups of his colleagues studing Quran, too,” said al-Selwi.
The institute is located near to al-Eman University. In addition to teaching high school, the institute specializes in intensive classes in Sharia and Quran.
“All of the institute’s staff are Salafis,” said a post-graduate of Ibn al-Ameer.
After his son spent about two years in prison, al-Selwi said that he encouraged him to go the village in the hope he would be away from al-Qaeda suspects.
After finishing high school, Othman went to a Polytechnic institute instead of the university and would check in with Political Security in Taiz province. Al-Selwi said his brother called him and said that Othman had been absent from the Polytechnic for a week and that he probably travelled to Sana’a. Al-Selwi said that he immediately called the director of Taiz-based Political Security informing him about his runaway son and also called the National Security here in Sana’a as well as the Political Security. “Informing the security about my runaway son was a month before he detonated himself,” al-Selwi said, adding that he searched all the relatives’ homes and would call security, who responded they had circulated news of his son’s escape.
Al-Selwi did not know that his son’s connection with al-Qaeda would amount to the situation it did, and that he didn’t know much about his son’s friends.
“I know only one person of my son’s friends and with whom he studied and went to prison together. My son and I went to his wedding party about a month and a half ago. That is the only person I know,” al-Selwi added.
“I condemn what happened in every sense of the word and I thank God for the safety of the ambassador and passers-by. Honestly, despite the loss I suffered, I was relieved that no one was hurt other than my son,” al-Selwi concluded.
Othman al-Selwi tried to target the British ambassador on Wednesday but nobody was hurt except the bomber. His head is said to have been found a couple of meters away from the explosion.
Security forces have arrested dozens of al-Qaeda affiliates. Among them seven detainees who have close ties with Othman- the suicide bomber.
Yemen witnessed a similar failed suicide attack which targeted the Korean ambassador during his way to the airport on the 18th of March, 2009. The attack, like al-Selwi’s, hurt nobody except the bomber.
Yemeni Ministry of Interior vowed to continue its pursuit of al-Qaeda members and launch sever more strikes against them.