Hamza is alleged to have provided a satellite phone, with hundreds of pounds of credit, to the group responsible and to have conspired with Abu Hassan, the leader of the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
, who was later executed for his role in the kid- nappings.
But an estimated 100 hardcore fighters retreated to Abyan to set up the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
, with some assistance from some tribes.
The Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
is believed to have been set up by Yemenis and other Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the 1980s and later returned to their countries to wage a jihad, or holy war, against their own governments.
Zein Al-Abidine al-Mihdar, head of the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
, has said his followers would exact revenge if he was executed.
The men are accused of murder, robbery and sabotage, as well as being members of the secret Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
, and face the death penalty.
The crackdown in the southern mountains led to the arrests of 32 suspects believed to belong to al Qaida and other militant groups, including the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
and the Yemeni Islamic Jihad.
Extremist Muslim group Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
says it is responsible for the blast.
Islamic extremists have been active in Yemen, including the Yemeni Islamic Jihad and the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
After al-Mihdar was sentenced to death, the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
threatened to kill foreigners in Yemen - including Western ambassadors, doctors and tourists - unless he was freed.
Three of the Britons and an Australian died in crossfire during a botched rescue attempt by the Yemeni authorities, launched just days after the group were captured by his Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
It is a painfully complex narrative but it hinges on a triangle linking the defendants with Muslim extremists in Britain and the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
led by Abu Hassan.
The prosecution also linked the defendants to Islamic militant Zein al-Abideen al-Mehdar and his Aden-Abyan Islamic Army
. Mehdar and another militant have been sentenced to death for their role in the abduction and killings of Western tourists in Yemen in December.