U.S. Observant of Threats From Yemen [Video]

File photo of riot policemen standing guard during a protest to demand the release of Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo Bay, in Sanaa

Officials in the U.S. are actively observant of al Qaeda threats originating from the region of Yemen. Al Qaeda operatives in the Arabian Peninsula are believed to have concluded attack plans directed at the United States. Officials believe that Western targets were identified by al Qaeda and fresh intelligence has alerted officials that the attacks are imminent.

The U.S. State Department has issued a global travel alert warning of attacks that may occur in the Middle East, North Africa and other unidentified nations. Precautions have led the U.S. to systematically close 22 embassies and consulates in the region. Officials in Washington have not identified the sources of the threats but have seriously noted al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri warnings of revenge for drone attacks and imprisoned Islamic Militants in Guantanamo.

“The warnings also come as news has surfaced that al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has appointed the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Nasser al-Wahishi, as his overall general manager of the terror network,” said Seth Jones of the Rand Corporation. He believes strategies are being set in place, which validates the proposed threats.

Officials in the U.S. are highly observant of Threats from Yemen. “Al-Zawahiri, the man who succeeded Osama Bin Ladin, and al-Wahishi linked, the United States may be taking a cautious but necessary approach by closing the embassies,” said Jones.

“Security has been greatly tightened across Yemen as a result of local intelligence that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was planning attacks in major cities, such as the capital, Sanaa, or Aden,” said a senior Yemeni national security official. Some analysts have surmised that the threats are solely in Yemen, but it is not absolutely known  if that’s the case.

An official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, “Yemeni intelligence agencies alerted authorities of the threat two days ago, when the Yemeni president was in Washington.”

Britain, France and Germany have initiated edicts to close their embassies in Sanaa. “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,” said the Foreign Office warning.

Officials say, security in Yemen was tightened across the country as a result of the alerts. Yemen threats have drawn major reactions from U.S. officials observant of al Qaeda criticisms. It is stated that security forces were deployed at all government institutions and foreign embassies. Officials in Yemen say that al Qaeda has filmed U.S. building and personnel in the region for possible attack. They further state that U.S. drone attacks have instigated the threat of reprisals by al Qaeda operatives.

By Thomas Barr

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