SANAA, Yemen, May 10 (UPI) -- Yemen will not extradite suspected terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki to the United States if he is captured, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said.
Al-Awlaki, born in Las Cruces, N.M., is believed hiding in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa with members of al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula.
Al-Awlaki, 39, has been targeted for assassination by the U.S. government.
In an interview with the Kuwaiti al-Dar newspaper, al-Qirbi said al-Awlaki also was wanted in Yemen and would be tried there, if captured, Saba reported Monday.
Yemeni law prohibits prohibits extradition of its citizens and al-Awlaki is considered a citizen of Yemen, al-Qirbi said.
"We assure that the government is able to address all issues in the best interest of the Yemeni people and bring all outlaws and criminals to justice," al-Qirbi said.
Faisal Shahzad, who was charged with last week's attempted bombing in Times Square in New York, reportedly told law enforcement officials he was a follower of al-Awlaki, a militant Muslim preacher.