After fears of an imminent terror strike by the local wing of al-Qaida, Britain and the US have kept their embassies in Yemen close today for second consecutive day, said reports.
The UK and the US embassies in the country’s capital Sana’a would remain closed, reported Reuters quoting unnamed diplomats in Yemen.
“We are continuing to make the security review,” an American diplomat was quoted as saying.
In the meanwhile, authorities in London and Washington reasoned that the decision to close the missions was taken following specific intelligence.
John Brennan, the US counterterrorism chief, said that the American embassy, which was attacked twice in 2008, was shut because of ‘indications al-Qaida is planning to carry out an attack against a target inside of Sana’a – possibly our embassy’.
“We’re not going to take any chances with the lives of embassy personnel,” he said.
He said in a reference to al-Qaida that the US would do everything to hold these militants accountable. Responding to a question if that meant possible military action in Yemen, he said: “Everything is possible.”
British premier Gordon Brown told the BBC yesterday that more was to be done to combat terrorism in Yemen, and called for a conference in London at the end of the month to discuss what more the international community could do to contain the growing al-Qaida threat from there.
Also, he said that Britain would establish its own support for counter-terrorist units and Yemeni coastguard operations, but Downing Street later said that the money would be allocated from within the existing Yemen aid budget.