A US-born al-Qaida-linked cleric has been charged in his absence with plotting to kill foreigners, prosecutors in Yemen said today.
It is the first formal legal action by Yemen against Anwar al-Awlaki, and comes as the country faces pressure to crack down on the terror network following the interception of two mail bombs intercepted in Dubai and Britain last week.
Prosecutors announced the charge against al-Awlaki today as they opened a trial against another man, Hisham Assem, who has been accused of killing a Frenchman in an October 6 attack at an oil firm.
They also charged a third suspect in his absence.
The New Mexico-born cleric is based in Yemen and has been linked to recent terror attacks in America, including the failed Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound plane.