U.S. Shutters Embassy in Yemen Citing ‘Ongoing Threats’ From al-Qaeda
January 3, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-With increasing terror threats directed towards American interests in Yemen, after the botched Christmas day attack on an airliner bound for Detroit, the United States has decided to shut its embassy in Yemen’s capital Sanaa. An announcement on the embassy’s website noted that it was closed due “…to ongoing threats by al-Qaeda.” Britain soon followed suit, closing the doors of its embassy as well. The closures come a day after Gen. Petraeus met with Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh to pledge more support to fight against the terrorist threat in the impoverished Arab nation.
The US embassy announcement posted on Sunday, did not say when the facility would reopen:
“The US Embassy in Sanaa is closed today, January 3, 2010, in response to ongoing threats by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to attack American interests in Yemen.”
The embassy press release goes on to warn Americans in the region to be vigilant”
“On December 31, the U.S. Embassy sent a warden message to Americans citizens in Yemen to remind them of the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against American citizens and interests throughout the world. The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance and to practice enhanced security awareness.”
On Saturday, Gen. Petraeus, head of US Middle East and Central Asian operations, pledged increased intelligence, training and support to Yemeni forces fighting against the growing al-Qaeda in its country. Last year the U.S. provided $67 million in aid to the poor country that’s fast becoming a haven for terrorists.
Britain is doing its part as well. The UK and US have agreed to jointly fund a counter terrorism police unit to fight against the al-Qaeda insurgents. And Prime Minister Gordon Brown called an emergency summit to discuss the terrorism threat in Yemen, after 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, boarded a plane from Amsterdam bound for Detroit, with explosives sewn in his underwear. The attack was thwarted and Abdulmutallab is in US federal custody. The Yemen-based group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack. And President Obama confirmed in his weekly address on Saturday that al-Qaeda planned and directed the attack on a US airliner.
The terrorist group announced on its website after the botched attack that it would continue with its terrorist acts against Westerners. The group, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula urged Muslims to help in “killing every crusader who works at their embassies or other places.”
Just last year, the US embassy in Yemen was attacked by al-Qaeda forces, which left 19 people dead.
Yemeni officials said on Saturday that they plan to “tighten the noose around extremists,” operating in their country.
Photo Source: AFP