Yemen Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Mar 18, 2002
Summary: This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Yemen dated December 3, 2001. It notes credible reports that terrorists have planned attacks against U.S. interests in Yemen and reports that, because of security enhancements for the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, the Department of State has terminated voluntary departure for non-emergency American Embassy personnel and adult dependents. Minor dependents are not authorized to accompany Embassy staff to Yemen. The security threat to all American citizens in Yemen remains high. End Summary.
The Department of State reaffirms its warning to United States citizens to defer travel to Yemen. The Department has received credible reports that terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda organization have planned attacks against U.S. interests in Yemen, and the Department anticipates that threats against American citizens in Yemen will continue. However, the Department has terminated voluntary departure for non-emergency U.S. Embassy personnel and adult family members. Minor dependents of Embassy staff are not authorized to accompany Embassy employees to Yemen. The decision to terminate voluntary departure for non-emergency Embassy staff and adult dependents was based on enhancements in the Embassy's security posture and the cooperation of the Yemeni government in countering terrorism.
The Embassy will continue to provide consular services to American citizens. However, from time to time the Embassy may temporarily close or suspend public services as necessary to review its security posture. Emergency assistance to American citizens during non-business hours (or when public access is restricted) is available through Embassy duty personnel, who can be contacted by telephone at 967-1-303-155.
In addition to the credible reports of terrorist actions planned against U.S. interests, strong reasons for continuing concerns about the security of Americans in Yemen include the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole and the December 1998 kidnapping of 16 Western tourists. The U.S.-led international war on terrorism that has followed the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States elevated security concerns for Americans in Yemen that already were high.
All American citizens in Yemen are urged to pay close attention to their personal security and to take those actions they deem appropriate to ensure their well-being. The Embassy advises American citizens in Yemen to exercise particular caution at locations associated with foreigners, such as the Sanaa Trade Center, American-affiliated franchises, restaurants and shops in the Haddah area in Sanaa and, in Aden and elsewhere, at restaurants and hotels frequented by expatriates.
U.S. citizens who choose to visit or remain in Yemen are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance, and to vary routes and times of travel. Americans who believe they are being followed or threatened while driving in urban centers should proceed as quickly as possible to the nearest police station or major intersection and request assistance from the officers in the blue-and-white police cars stationed there.