Intensive security preationary measures around European embassies [Archives:2003/698/Local News]

December 29 2003

Mohammed bin Sallam
Yemeni authorities have Thursday doubled their security reinforcements around the western embassies buildings, particularly the embassies of the United States of America and Britain in precaution of attack possible attacks by al-Qaeda organization elements during Christmas and the New Year.
Santa's big hotels where festivals of the New Year are usually held and attended by foreigners, are put under unprecedented strict security measures following reports of threats sent by al-Qaeda organisation elements in Yemen in retaliation for the arrest of Mohammed al-Ahdal beginning of last month. Al-Ahdal is thought to be the second leading man of the so-called organisation led Osama bin Laden.
The United States had asked in a statement last week its diplomats in Yemen and their families to be strictly careful and to travel in guarded groups especially after three western citizen have been stabbed in Sana'a lately. It is believed that the person who stabbed the western citizens and was later arrested by Yemeni authorities that he had committed his act in retaliation of the capture of the Iraqi former president Saddam Hussein.
Informed security sources have made it clear that security elements from the American embassy have for the past six months erected separate barriers around Sheraton Hotel to prevent any operation that may inflict harm on about 40 CIA and FBI elements living in the hotel.
Yemen's foreign minister had on Thursday announced that the police state of alert guarding government institutions, foreign embassies and international bodies and organisations would be raised and the government would develop readiness of the units for fighting terror and riot, technically and militarily. The minister added that the Yemeni security bodies and coast guard police managed last year to capture 5214 illegal infiltrators into Yemeni territories of Somalian nationality and 1200 of Ethiopian nationality. Most of those infiltrators had been transferred to refugee camps and some of them, especially the Ethiopians were sent back to their countries. Some 507 persons from Arab and foreign nationalities were also deported to their countries during this year.