A Houthi “minister” revealed that he met with several al-Qaeda leaders at the Yemeni presidential office during the presidency of Ali Abdullah Saleh, adding that Saleh used Qaeda members to extort the US and European officials for money and weapons.
“Minister” of Youth and Sports at the insurgency government Hassan Zaid had earlier accused Saleh of recruiting Qaeda members as military officials to execute assassinations against political, public and social figures during his presidency.
"I used to deny any relations between Ali Abdullah Saleh and [al-Qaeda], until I met Jamal al-Nahdi, who carried out the the Aden Hotel operation, and Tarek al-Fadli at the presidential office," he stated.
In a post on his Facebook page, Zaid said that during an operation on the US Embassy in the Houthi-held Yemeni capital Sana’a, attackers used anti-terrorism equipment. He also indicated that these same tools were provided by the US to counter terrorism and terminate al-Qaeda in Yemen.
According to the “minister”, Saleh is using Houthis in Yemen for his own benefits.
Zaid stated that Saleh "used everyone against everyone and he is still using all of them as pawns to ensure he remains in power."
The “minister” said that Saleh would not hesitate to use his closest allies and officials and then claim they are forming armed factions without his knowledge. He also remarked that the former president accuses some of his closest figures, such as his nephew Tarek and Abdallah Qiran, of creating clashes with Houthis.
However, Saleh does not use his children in any of the struggles, which according to Zaid, is because he wants them "to remain the hope and the dream".
Zaid stated that he is targeted and under constant threat of assassination by Saleh which limits his movements and restricts his work inside Sana’a.