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Mastermind of Missionary Murders Executed in Yemen

The man convicted of plotting the 2002 murders of three Southern Baptist missionaries was executed Sunday by firing squad in Yemen.

Ali Al-Jarallah, convicted of planning the attack on a Baptist mission hospital in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Jibla, Yemen, on Dec. 30, 2002, was blindfolded and shot at the central prison in Yemen’s capital, according to the Associated Press.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
 
In addition to the murders of three Americans–hospital administrator William Koehn, business manager Kathleen Gariety and nurse Martha Myers–Al-Jarallah, a suspected ally of al-Qaeda, was also convicted of killing a prominent politician and forming a terror cell to buy weapons with the intent to kill other local officials and foreigners.
 
Razak Kamel, Al-Jarallah’s co-conspirator and alleged gunman in the attack, has also been sentenced to death after confessing in court to his role, but no execution date has been set.
 
Kamel, who walked through a security checkpoint at the Southern Baptist Convention-owned hospital with a hidden weapon before opening fire during a staff meeting, testified at his trial that he acted “out of religious duty” and “in revenge for those who converted Muslims from their religion and made them unbelievers.”
 
Two days after the attack, the SBC International Mission Board turned control of the 35-year-old hospital to the People’s Charitable Society, a Muslim charity with ties to the Yemeni government. The IMB had announced months before it would no longer run the hospital and was shifting emphasis to mobile clinics to provide health screenings, nutrition education and basic medical care.
 
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.