SANAA : A Sanaa court on Sunday sentenced to death a Yemeni Al-Qaeda suspect for his role in a deadly attack on a security headquarters in Aden in 2011, an official said.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a franchise of the global jihadist network, is active in Yemen and is seen by the United States as its most dangerous branch. The court convicted Ahmad Kadiri Ahmad Turki of belonging to AQAP and setting up the cell that planned and launched the attack in the southern city, the judicial official said.

The June 2011 attack killed nearly 20 members of the intelligence services in Aden, the terrorism court said.

The same court handed nine other suspects sentences of between two and 10 years in prison for belonging to Al-Qaeda and attempting to assassinate President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi.

The prosecution said the group planted an explosive device in Sanaa with the aim of blowing up Hadi’s convoy as it drove past, but the bomb was discovered and defused by security forces.

The judiciary in Yemen has stepped up trials of Al-Qaeda suspects in recent months, handing 10 alleged members of the network sentences ranging from two to seven years in prison after convicting them in October of taking part in attacks.

AQAP took advantage of the weakening of the central government in Sanaa during a 2011 uprising, seizing swathes of territory in the south before being driven back in June 2012.

The group is still active in southern and eastern Yemen, and stages frequent attacks on security forces.