An image grab from a video uploaded to YouTube on April 15, 2013 shows Saudi's deputy consul Abdullah al-Khalidi speaking at an unknown location during a 19-minute video interview by Al-Malahim Media
An image grab from a video uploaded to YouTube on April 15, 2013 shows Saudi's deputy consul Abdullah al-Khalidi speaking at an unknown location during a 19-minute video interview by Al-Malahim Media © - Al-Malahim Media Center/AFP/File
An image grab from a video uploaded to YouTube on April 15, 2013 shows Saudi's deputy consul Abdullah al-Khalidi speaking at an unknown location during a 19-minute video interview by Al-Malahim Media
AFP
Last updated: September 3, 2014

Al Qaeda-held Saudi diplomat in Yemen makes video plea

A Saudi diplomat kidnapped in Yemen by Al-Qaeda and held since 2012 has appealed for Riyadh to negotiate his release, in a video posted on YouTube.

Abdullah al-Khalidi, deputy consul in the southern port city of Aden who was kidnapped on March 28, 2012, appears in the nearly two-minute video with his head covered and sporting a long beard.

In the video posted online Tuesday and released by Al-Qaeda's Al-Malahem Media, Khalidi said he has so far spent two years and five months in captivity.

Militants from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said they seized Khalidi in a bid to secure the release of female prisoners in Saudi Arabia and to raise a ransom.

AQAP claimed responsibility for Khalidi's abduction in April.

Although weakened, Al-Qaeda is still present in Yemen's restive south and east, and it launches sporadic attacks against security forces.

Saudi Arabia itself witnessed a wave of deadly attacks by Al-Qaeda between 2003 and 2006, prompting authorities to launch a crackdown on the local branch of the jihadist network.

Hundreds of people have been abducted in Yemen in the past 15 years, almost all of them later freed unharmed in return for concessions from authorities.

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