A leaked telephone conversation between the CIA’s former director George Tenet and former late Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh purportedly contains audio of Tenet requesting Saleh release an Al-Qaeda member.
The conversation released on Tuesday by the Yemeni Beirut-Based Al-Masirah TV channel.
In the conversation, Tenet asks for the release of “someone important to me personally, within two days” who was arrested in connection to Al-Qaeda’s role in the attack against a US naval destroyer, the USS Cole in 2000.
However, when asked by Saleh for a name, Tenet is said to have responded that it was too risky to reveal names over the phone, adding that they both knew who this individual was.
According to Abdul Qader Al-Shami, the deputy head of Yemen’s Security and Intelligence Services, the Al-Qaeda member in question was the US-born cleric-turned Al-Qaeda propagandist and leader Anwar Al-Awlaki who was killed in a controversial US drone strike in 2011 approved by former President Barack Obama.
A statement issued by the Yemeni armed forces said the conversation proved the existence “of direct relations between the CIA and Al-Qaeda terrorists and cooperation on the part of Saleh government’s officials in formation of the relationship”.
During a televised speech on Thursday, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said day after another “the reality of Takfiri groups is revealed, as well as the identity of their operators and those who back them. I think it is important to be aware of a report on a request by former CIA chief (George Tenet) to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh to release Al-Qaeda member in Yemen.”
“We are not before an Islamic group, but rather we are before a Takfiri terrorist group that is formed, operated and backed by the US intelligence service in a bid to destroy our people and our armies,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed.
Source: Middle East Monitor and Al-AManar English Website