Security circles obviously saw a particularly threatening situation there. The german mission in the capital sanaa will not open on monday, as a spokesman for the foreign office told the news agency dpa.
U.S. Intelligence services say they have intercepted secret communications between leading members of the al-qaeda terrorist network. These communications are said to have been about terrorist attacks on american facilities. This is also the reason for friday’s worldwide travel warning, US media reported.
The international police agency interpol issued a worldwide security warning on saturday. It called on its 190 member countries for increased vigilance and coordinated investigations after several outbreaks of captivity supported by al-qaeda, for example in iraq, libya and pakistan.
Intercepting electronic communications is a major task of the U.S. Intelligence agency NSA, whose massive spying programs were revealed by U.S. Whistleblower edward snowden. According to the new york times, analysts and congressional staffers suggested that a terror threat at this time was a good way to deflect criticism of the nsa programs. It would be even better if, at the same time, it could be made clear that the NSA activities had uncovered a possible terror plot.
Security advisers to U.S. President barack obama met saturday to review the situation, including several ministers. Individual U.S. Military units in the middle east have been placed on heightened alert, according to CNN on sunday, citing government sources. Defense secretary chuck hagel had discussed with his experts what units could be deployed in the event of a terrorist attack on u.S. Facilities. The U.S. Navy has ordered amphibious boats in the red sea closer to yemen.
Security around the u.S. Embassy in the yemeni capital of sanaa has been significantly increased, according to CNN. "The threat appears to be worse than it has been for a long time," a U.S. Security official in the arab country told the station.
According to a report in the "washington post," obama instructed security agencies several days ago to do everything possible to protect U.S. Citizens "in light of a potential threat taking place in or emanating from the arabian peninsula".
French president francois hollande said they had information that the threats were very serious. The british ministry of the interior issued a travel warning advising compatriots to leave yemen.
According to the "new york times," citing U.S. Government officials, terrorists discussed attacks against facilities in the middle east and north africa. It was unusual, he said, that e-mails or cellphone conversations from high-ranking al-qaeda operatives about the planning of operations had been intercepted – especially in large quantities. Therefore experts of the secret service CIA, the aubenministerium and the weibe haus had understood immediately, what it was about.
U.S. Authorities were apparently encouraged by an audio message from al-qaeda leader aiman al-sawahiri. He had called tuesday for attacking "interests of the U.S. And its allies" around the world. In another message allegedly from him on friday evening, the overthrow of the islamist agyptian president mohammed mursi was criticized by "crusaders" and with "american intrigue".
Experts say the increased terror threat could be linked to the end of the muslim fasting month of ramadan in the middle of next week. British security expert peter bergen told the BBC that al-qaeda had shown interest in the past in launching an attack on 27. Day of the islamic fasting month of ramadan attacks to be carried out. The 27. Day falls on this sunday.
Bergen refers to the so-called "night of determination", in which, according to muslim belief, the first suras of the koran were revealed to the prophet mohammed. In a contribution to CNN, bergen writes that militant muslims were attacked on 3. January 2000 – also a 27. Day in ramadan – had launched a failed attack on the u.S. Warship "the sullivans".
Other experts also see a temporal connection with the terrorist attack on the u.S. Consulate in bengasi, libya, on 11. September 2012. Four U.S. Diplomats had been killed.
The foreign office in berlin did not change its security advice for german citizens for the time being. Security measures for embassies have been permanently adapted to the current security situation, said a spokesman.