Al Qaeda guns down American in Yemen (Lead)

March 18th, 2012 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Aden (Yemen), March 18 (IANS) Terror outfit Al Qaeda Sunday claimed responsibility for killing a US citizen working as an English teacher at a Swedish-run institute in Yemen, media reports said.

Two masked men riding a motorcycle fired eight shots at the American, who was on his way to work in Yemen’s second largest city of Taiz, CNN reported.

“Killing the American teacher by our members is an obvious message to the United States to stop interfering in Yemen’s internal affairs. This was a retaliatory attack for killing dozens of our fighters by the American jets,” Al Qaeda said in a text message received by Xinhua.

The dead man was identified as Johl Schrim, head of the English-language department at the Swedish institute in the city, a Yemeni official told Xinhua requesting anonymity.

According to CNN, the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — the terror network’s affiliate in Yemen — sent a text message to Yemeni media outlets, in which the group said the American was spreading Christianity among Yemenis.

The outfit called him one of the biggest missionaries in the country.

Provincial head of security, Mohamed Saidi, identified the man as Joel Sharm.

He said Sharm had been working at the Swedish-run language centre since 2010.

The US embassy in the capital Sana’a said it has heard reports of an American’s death but did not confirm it.

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