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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 967-1-303-155.

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

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