The Yemeni government says the Nigerian accused in the Christmas day attack on a U.S. airliner visited Yemen this year.
In a statement, the Yemeni Foreign Ministry says Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was in Yemen from August until early December after receiving a visa to study Arabic in a school in Sana'a.
Monday's statement said Abdulmutallab had previously studied at the school, indicating it was not his first trip to Yemen.
The ministry says authorities are investigating who the suspect contacted while in Yemen.
Earlier Monday. al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was retaliation for a U.S. operation against the group in Yemen.