By AHMED AL-HAJ
August 11, 2009
SAN'A, Yemen — Two Yemenis jailed in the United States over terrorism charges received a tumultuous public welcome on their return home Tuesday after serving more than six years in prison.
Several ministers, tribal chiefs and hundreds of supporters welcomed Sheik Mohammed Ali Hasan Al-Moayad and his assistant at San'a airport brandishing his picture, Yemeni flags and banners saying it was "freedom's day."
The two were arrested in 2003 and convicted of supporting terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida. Al-Moayad was sentenced to 75 years in prison and Mohammed Zayed received 45 years, but on Friday, they pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas and given six years time served.
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