UK, Germany and France close embassies in Yemen over possible terror threat

A general view of the British embassy in Sanaa (Reuters / Ahmed Jadallah)RT News

The British, German and French embassies in Yemen will be closed over ‘increased security concerns’, the European countries have announced. They blamed an ‘increased threat’ from al-Qaeda.

France will close its embassy in Yemen for several days, while Germany and Britain will close theirs for two days on Sunday and Monday.   

Previously the French Foreign Ministry has said that the Embassy would only be shut on Sunday.

“We are informed directly and indirectly of threats concerning our installations overseas and even our nationals, threats coming from al-Qaida,” the French President Hollande said Saturday.

“The decision was made for security reasons because of a threat that was considered elevated,” a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry said.

Germany also warned its citizens from traveling to the country and that the situation there “is uncertain in the future”.

The British embassy in Yemen will close temporarily after escalating violence and terrorist threats, the Foreign Office said Friday. While the Embassy will operate with an “essential staff,” all other British citizens were advised to leave Yemen.

The British announced the precautionary measures after the United States issued a worldwide travel alert, citing the intelligence indicating al-Qaeda terrorists may be planning attack somewhere in the Middle East or Africa.

“There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Yemen,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. “[We] advise against all travel to Yemen and strongly urge British nationals to leave now.” 

“If you don’t leave the country now while commercial carriers are still flying it is extremely unlikely that the British government will be able to evacuate you or provide consular assistance,” the statement added.“There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Yemen. Terrorists continue to threaten further attacks. Be particularly vigilant during Ramadan, when tensions could be heightened.”

The threat did not identify a specific target but applied more broadly to Western interests in the region, US security sources told Reuters. Al-Qaeda’s affiliate group in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP, is reported to be behind the reported plans.

“The threat appears to be much worse than it has in a long time,” an unnamed Yemeni official told CNN. Sources indicated that an attack was in the final planning stages as the final days of Ramadan, the Muslim holiday, are approaching.

“Current information suggest that’s Al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks in both the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” the US State Department’s travel alert warned.

The British Foreign Office, which announced the Sana’a embassy would be closed from August 4 to 5, is in close contact with US officials. Meanwhile, US embassies will be closed in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

3 thoughts on “UK, Germany and France close embassies in Yemen over possible terror threat

  1. Reminds me of Rumsfeld some years back coming out every other day saying “We don’t know where and we don’t know when…but something bad is gonna happen.”

  2. “They blamed an ‘increased threat’ from al-Qaeda.”

    They must have heard something from the CIA.

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