News of attack on US Embassy Baseless [Archives:2001/26/Front Page]

June 25 2001

Yemeni Interior Minister Dr. Rashad Al-Aleemi has denied as groundless the news carried by the American newspaper Washington Post about the arrest of nine persons carrying weapons and bombs to attack the American embassy in Sanaa. Mr Al-Aleemi told the 26 September weekly last Thursday that the news published by the U.S. newspaper was incorrect. The sentence clarified that the security apparatus usually takes seriously any information of this nature and takes all necessary measures to counter any sabotage or terrorist act. The security apparatus would not hesitate to arrest any person proved or suspected to be carrying out any sabotage act against the security and stability of the country, the minister said. 
The minister refused to comment on the American investigators’ departure from Yemen, affirming that cooperation with the US was continuing in investigations related to the incident of USS Cole and that investigations were progressing satisfactorily for both parties. He has also confirmed that Yemen rejects, and condemns all forms of terrorism and has offered all possible cooperation for fighting and eliminating it. 
On the other hand, the US military forces in the Gulf are put on alert and US embassies in Bahrain and Senegal have been closed temporarily on the pretext of an imminent threat against Americans and American enterprises in the region. The latter American step was taken just two weeks ago by closing the consulate at the US embassy in Sanaa. It was reported on Friday that there had been three threats of attacks on US forces in the Gulf on June 25, the fifth anniversary of bombing of Al-Khobar Towers in 1996. The American Embassies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar said Saturday that they warned Americans to be on guard after US forces in the Gulf were put on the highest alert against an ” increased risk of terrorist action.” The US State Department said in a statement on Friday ” US citizens are urged to maintain high-level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness to reduce their vulnerability.” 
In another development and as part of precautionary measures against threats of attacks US warship and other navy vessels in Bahrain had been ordered out of port. Meanwhile three US naval vessels on Saturday left the Red Sea port of Aqaba, cutting short a Marine Corps training exercise in Jordan. Some military sources have said that Intelligence intercepted a communication between two men from the region that suggested a major attack was imminent. 
Military sources say that the threat is serious enough for the military to pull ships out of port as part of new precautionary actions adopted after the destroyer USS Cole was hit while refueling at Aden Seaport nine months ago. The United States has lately moved US investigators from Aden to the capital, Sana’a, for safety reasons and were subsequently moved outside the country. The US authorities suspect bin Laden associates as involved in the attack on the Cole and the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa.