Yemen Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Dec 02, 2002
This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Yemen dated March 18,
2002. It notes credible reports that terrorists have planned attacks
against U.S. interests in Yemen. The security threat to all American
citizens in Yemen remains high.
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 al-Qaeda have planned attacks against U.S.
interests in Yemen, and the Department anticipates that threats against
American citizens in Yemen will continue.
In March 2002, the Department of State terminated voluntary departure for
non-emergency U.S. Embassy personnel and adult family members. This
decision was based on enhancements in the Embassy's security posture and the
cooperation of the Yemeni government in countering terrorism. Minor
dependents of Embassy staff are not authorized to accompany Embassy
employees to Yemen. 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
In addition to the credible reports of terrorist actions planned against
U.S. interests, there are strong reasons for continuing concern about the
security of Americans in Yemen, including the October 2000 attack on the USS
Cole. On November 28, 2002 there was a car bomb attack on a hotel near
Mombasa, Kenya, in which at least 11 people died, and an unsuccessful
attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane departing Mombasa on the same
day. The U.S. Government has received information, the credibility of which
has not yet been confirmed, that similar attacks may also occur in Yemen.
Due to the preponderance of the threat information, the Department believes
it prudent to share this information with American citizens so they can make
an informed decision in deciding to travel to or remain in Yemen. 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.
Americans in Yemen should register with the American Embassy in Sanaa and
should remain in contact with the Embassy for up to date security
information. For further general information on travel to Yemen, travelers
may consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for
Yemen at http://travel.state.gov.