There are even more reasons for the increased concerns for the security of Americans abroad.
The US State Department issued a statement today urging all US citizens to leave Yemen as soon as possible. They have ordered all non-essential government employees out of the country as well. The announcement comes after news reports revealed that one of the key pieces of intelligence prompting all this concern were intercepted messages between al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri and the leader of Yemen affiliate al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Nasser al-Wuhayshi.
Some other developments that have played a key role in increasing concerns of an attack are:
- The BBC reports, a suspected American drone strike killed four members of al-Qaeda traveling in a car in central Yemen overnight.
- The AP reports that a manned US surveillance plane was spotted flying over the capital of Sanaa, a rarity for the relatively quiet city.
- According to the Guardian, the US might keep some of its embassies and consulates closed for the entire month of August.
- The AP also reports that Yemeni officials are especially concerned about an attack on the Ba al-Mandeb straits at the entrance to the Red Sea. The straits are vital to international shipping.
Photo: AP/Hani Mohammed