An American wanted for allegedly training with the “Lackawanna Six” at an al-Qaida camp was among the 23 men who tunneled out of a Yemeni prison last week, the FBI confirmed Friday.
Authorities earlier said they believed Jaber Elbaneh, 39, was probably among the escapees, but were not certain because of conflicting information, including a posting by the international police organization Interpol that pictured Elbaneh but described someone else.
Elbaneh is charged in Buffalo with providing material support to al-Qaida by attending the al-Farooq training camp run by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Six other men who attended the camp — dubbed the Lackawanna Six after the city near Buffalo where they lived — are serving sentences ranging from seven to 10 years after pleading guilty in 2003 to providing support to a terrorist organization.
Authorities believe Elbaneh surrendered to Yemen authorities in December 2003. The United States had asked Yemen to hand him over, but had not received an official response.
Interpol has said those who escaped last Saturday also included Jamal al-Badawi — convicted of plotting, preparing and helping carry out the USS Cole bombing that killed 17 sailors in a Yemeni port in 2000.