Americans on alert [Archives:2003/687/Front Page]

November 20 2003

The US embassy in Sana'a has advised US citizens in Yemen to exercise a high state of vigilance and caution because the extradition of two Yemeni citizens facing charges of terrorism may lead to repercussions for Americans in Yemen.
“United States citizens should review and update their security procedures at this time and maintain a high state of vigilance and caution. The Embassy advises American citizens in Yemen to exercise particular caution at locations frequented by foreigners, such as the Sana'a Trade Center, American-affiliated franchises, restaurants and shops in the Haddah area in Sana'a and in Aden and elsewhere, and at the restaurants and hotels owned and frequented by expatriates,” a travel warning issued by the embassy said Nov. 17.
It pointed out that Sheikh Mohammed Ali al-Moayed, a leading member at the Islah party and his assistant Mohammed Mohsen Zayed will not be prosecuted in a military commission or in an extraordinary court.
The two Yemeni nationals who were arrested in Germany last January were turned over to the US after the German government approved the extradition which was approved by the German Federal Constitutional Court Nov. 13. Security measures around the US embassies and interests in Yemen have been intensified.
The Travel Warning also advised U.S. citizens in Yemen to “consult the current Department of State Consular Information Sheet and Travel Warning for Yemen for additional security and safety information. They are reminded to pay particular attention to their personal security at all times, including keeping a low profile, varying routes and times of travel, avoiding large crowds and demonstrations, and reporting any suspicious activity to the Embassy's Regional Security Office.”
The Yemeni government and Islah party said that they would follow up the case of the two men with the US government.
Yemen's foreign minister Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi demanded the US government to return the two men back home. Islah also confirmed that they are innocent and that the US might have received mistaken reports on them. However, the US believes that al-Moayed supplied $20 million, recruits and weapons to bin Laden in the years before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The last warning by the embassy was issued in September 2003.