04/08/13 12:15 CET
| updated xx mn ago
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Twenty one US embassies and consulates were shut in the Middle East and North Africa on Sunday after a warning about a possible Al Qaeda terror attack.
The UK has closed its embassy in Yemen for two days and the UK Foreign Office is urging Britons to leave Yemen. The French and German embassies were also shut.
There is tight security around the US and British embassies in Yemen’s capital Sana’a and cars are being stopped and searched at nearby checkpoints.
One Yemeni soldier, Ala’a Moshtag, promised Yemeni security forces were on high alert. “These threats will not be carried out as long as we are the security men and we are here, also Yemeni people are here. Yemen will be safe and nothing bad will happen to it,” he said.
The US has issued a worldwide travel warning to Americans until the end of August. It is urging travellers to be on the alert for possible terrorist attacks on public transport and at tourist destinations.
The warning came after US intelligence officials reportedly intercepted emails between senior Al Qaeda members. It is claimed the emails discussed attacks against American interests in the region.
Meanwhile, Interpol has issued a separate global security alert, regarding jail breaks linked to al-Qaeda in nine countries.
Some analysts have suggested that emphasising the work of the National Security Agency in intercepting terrorist emails is a good way to deflect from the controversy over revelations about the US’s mass surveillance programme of citizens around the world.
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