Yemen Travel Warning
Issued by U.S. State Department
Jun 09, 2001
The Department of State warns United States citizens to defer travel to Yemen in light of recent events, including the terrorist attack on a U.S. Navy vessel in port at Aden, Yemen, in October 2000.
The Department currently believes there is an increased terrorist threat to U.S. citizens and interests in Yemen. As a result, the Department has authorized the departure of Embassy personnel in non-emergency positions and family members of Embassy personnel. In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa will suspend services to the public beginning Saturday, June 9. All Americans in Yemen should consider this information, review their personal security situations and take those actions they deem appropriate to ensure their safety. Emergency American citizens services will continue to be available through Embassy duty personnel by telephone at (967)(1) 303-155.
On October 12, 2000, several American citizens were killed and many more were injured in a terrorist attack on a U.S. Navy ship in port in Aden, Yemen. In October 1999, following the execution of the leader of an anti-Western terrorist group responsible for abducting 16 Western tourists in southern Yemen in December 1998, persons claiming to speak on behalf of the organization warned Westerners they would be attacked if they did not leave Yemen. While this threat was not carried out, four of the 16 kidnapped tourists had been killed during a previous clash between the terrorists and Yemeni government forces. In a related case, six extremists were arrested by Yemeni authorities on December 23, 1998, and accused of planning to bomb Western targets in Yemen. As these incidents indicate, the level of risk for foreigners in Yemen remains high.
More than 100 kidnappings have occurred throughout Yemen since 1991. In addition to the one noted above, American citizens were the victims of kidnappings in late October 1999 and January 2000. These kidnappings are mainly carried out by armed tribesmen with grievances against the Yemeni government. They are normally resolved peacefully within a few days, although in rare cases tribesmen have held some foreigners for extended periods. Some kidnappings or attempted kidnappings are initiated by carjacking.
U.S. citizens are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness and to reduce their vulnerability. Americans should maintain a low profile, vary routes and times for all required travel, and treat mail and packages from unfamiliar sources with suspicion. In addition, American citizens are also urged to avoid contact with any suspicious, unfamiliar objects, and to report the presence of the objects to local authorities. Vehicles should not be left unattended, if at all possible, and should be kept locked at all times. U.S. Government personnel overseas have been advised to take the same precautions. In addition, U.S. Government facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time as necessary to review their security posture and ensure its adequacy.
Americans in Yemen should also ensure they are registered with the American Embassy in Sanaa, and remain in contact with the Embassy for updated security information.
For further information on travel to Yemen, please consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Yemen.
This replaces the Travel Warning for Yemen dated October 12, 2000 to update the security situation and to note the authorized departure status and temporary closure of the Embassy.