Houthi media releases 'leaked conversation' between Saleh and CIA

Houthi media releases 'leaked conversation' between Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh and CIA
2 min read
17 March, 2021
The Houthi-run moral guidance department released an audio leak of the former director of the CIA urging Ali Abdullah Saleh to release a Yemeni prisoner, thought to be Anwar Al-Awlaki.
Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by a Houthi sniper in 2017 [Getty/ Archive]

Yemen's Houthi movements released on Tuesday an alleged audio leak of a phone conversation between late Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and George Tenet, the former director of the CIA.

Two recordings were released via the Houthi-affiliated Al-Masirah television channel, purportedly containing audio of Tenet requesting that Saleh release a detained Al-Qaeda fighter who at the time was considered the mastermind behind the bombing attack on USS Cole in 2000.

When Saleh asked for a name, Tenet said it was too risky to say names over the phone, adding that they both knew who this individual, who was detained by the Yemeni authorities for 50 days, was.

Al-Masirah quoted the Houthis' Moral Guidance Department as saying the second call was made by Saleh, who informed Tenet that he had agreed to release the detained national and hand him over to the US.

The deputy head of the Houthi Security and Intelligence Service, Major General Abdul Qadir al-Shami, said the phone call was in regards to Yemeni-American national Anwar Al-Awlaki.

The exact date of the recording was not disclosed.

The New Arab has not been able to independently identify the authenticity of the phone call and has contacted the CIA for clarification and comment.

Once allied with the Houthis against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Saleh was killed by a Houthi sniper in December 2017, after the Iran-aligned group accused him of "treason."

Al-Masirah also revealed a document allegedly issued by the US State Department in 1998 on "some important affairs in Yemen", without publishing an image, or its text.

The channel added that the document talks about the reactivation of Jewish synagogues and Christian churches. It also emphasised the role of American forces in Aden in protecting members of the Jewish community in Saada and Sanaa.

The alleged document talks of making use of "prostitution centres" in Aden to serve American soldiers in Yemen. It also identifies a number of places for selling alcoholic beverages in Sanaa and Aden, and talks about beer manufacturers in the country, which outlaws alcohol under religious grounds.

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