A top Yemeni security official with the US Embassy in Sanaa was killed Thursday by a gunman on a motorbike, in an attack the State Department said appeared to target him.
Qassim M. Aklan, a Yemeni national, served as head of the Foreign Service national investigative unit within the larger Regional Security Office shop at the US Embassy in Sanaa, where he had worked for eleven years, the State Department said Thursday.
Mr. Aklan “was a dedicated professional who will be greatly missed,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told journalists at the State Department Thursday. “We condemn this vicious act in the strongest terms possible and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
In his capacity as head of the Yemeni security staff working at the US Embassy Sanaa, Aklan was “responsible for routine personnel checks,” Nuland said. “He was our liaison on security matters to local authorities.”
Aklan “was not in the Embassy at the time of his killing,” but “off duty….and out with a family member when he was killed,” Nuland said.
The US is in close contact with Yemeni authorities who are investigating the incident, Nuland said.
Reports from Yemen hypothesized that Aklan was targeted by al Qaeda.