Britain and Germany are set to temporarily close their diplomatic missions in Yemen after the United States issued a worldwide terror alert. The US had earlier said dozens of its embassies would also close temporarily.
A spokesperson from the British Foreign Office told news outlets on Friday that the country's embassy in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, would be closed on Sunday and Monday as a "precautionary measure."
The DPA news agency later quoted a spokesperson for the German Foreign Office, who said the country's embassy in Yemen would also remain closed for those two days, but declined to provide further details.
This followed a warning issued by the US State Department saying there was a "continued potential" for the al-Qaeda terror network or its supporters to carry out attacks on US citizens "particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula."
It also suggested a timeframe of the next few weeks.
"Current information suggests that al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August," the travel alert said.
This was the first such warning issued by the State Department since the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington. It also comes less than a year after an attack on a US diplomatic post in Libya that killed an ambassador and three other Americans.
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey said in an interview to be broadcast on America's ABC network on Sunday, that the threat uncovered by intelligence agencies was "more specific" than previous ones and the "intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests."
The alert came a day after the State department announced that it would shut down 21 diplomatic posts in 17 countries, including the US embassy in Yemen (pictured above) on Sunday. A spokesperson said the closures could be extended in certain countries depending on the circumstances.
pfd/jr (dpa, AFP, AP)