She'd lived in New York, but went to Yemen to be married. She and her husband were going through the paperwork necessary for the two of them to go back to America. She planned to finish high school, and become a nurse.
She was at the U.S. Embassy in Sana, Yemen, when terrorists bombed the place. As I said, she's dead. So is her husband, and 14 other people.
And, yes: "Susan Elbaneh was related to Yemeni-American Jaber A. Elbaneh, who is on the FBI's 'Most Wanted Terrorists' list for allegedly being the seventh member of the Lackawanna Six, a group of men convicted for providing material support to Al Qaeda...." Her brother, Ahmed Elbaneh, had a few words about the connection. " 'That has nothing to do with my sister,' he said. 'I haven't seen my cousin in 15 years.' " Until there's evidence of a link other than sharing ancestors, I'm inclined to believe him.
The punch line to Susan El-Baneh's death is that Said Ali al-Shihri seems to be involved. "Said Ali al-Shihri" may not be a very familiar name, but American Counterterrorism officials confirmed that Said Ali al-Shihri is the deputy leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen. And, he's a suspect in the September, 2008, attack.
He was released from Guantanamo in 2007. Now, he's back at work, helping Al Qaeda kill people.
In retrospect, releasing him may not have been a very good idea.
On the other hand, somebody who's written a book says that Said Ali al-Shihri hadn't been in Yemen early enough to have been involved in the bombing. He could be right.
Either way, America is in the process of closing Gitmo, and sending the prisoners elsewhere. Some of them will probably want to go home. Under the circumstances, that might not be a good idea.
- "Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri: No Cole Charges - Dandy"
(February 5, 2009)
- "Yemen: Terrorists, Tribesmen, and an American Teen"
(September 18, 2008)
- "At Least One American Believed Killed by Freed Gitmo Prisoners"
FOXNews (February 6, 2009)
- "Barack Obama has issued his orders on Guantanamo but closing it will be tougher"
Telegraph.co.uk (January 24, 2009)
- "Will "war on terror" survive without Bush?"
Reuters (February 65, 2009)
- "Freed by the U.S., Saudi Becomes a[!] Qaeda Chief"
The New York Times (January 22, 2009)