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Messages for U.S. Citizens

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Increased Security Threat

May 21, 2012

The Department of State reminds U.S. citizens in Yemen about the continued high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities.  Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula continues to threaten to attack, especially in areas frequented by westerners.  We urge U.S. citizens to exercise extreme caution at all times.  On May 21, 2012, the media reported that a suicide bombing at 70 Meter Square in Sanaa killed at least 90 individuals and wounded several hundred others.  On May 20, 2012, the media also reported that Ansar Al-Sharia targeted and attacked two U.S. citizens in the Hodeida area in western Yemen.  On March 18, 2012, a U.S. citizen was attacked and killed in Taiz and the media reported that AQAP claimed responsibility.  The U.S. government remains highly concerned about further attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests.

The Embassy continues to severely restrict travel for all official personnel until further notice; all official travel must be approved on a case-by-case basis.  U.S. citizens in Yemen should remain vigilant and avoid areas where Westerners congregate.  Avoid large public gatherings or demonstrations and military installations.  Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers, or in public.  Be alert and aware of your surroundings, and always travel with mobile phones or appropriate communication equipment.

The current Travel Warning warns against travel to Yemen.  U.S. citizens who are already in Yemen should depart.  The security threat to all U.S. citizens in Yemen remains critical.  As staffing levels at the embassy are restricted, our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency remains limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation.  

U.S. citizens in Yemen should regularly monitor the Embassy’s Messages for U.S. Citizens, as well as the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the Worldwide Caution, Country Specific Information and the Travel Warning for Yemen are found.

U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at their destination.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain the latest information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review "A Safe Trip Abroad,” which includes valuable security information for those living and traveling abroad.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips. 

The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa is located at Dhahr Himyar Zone, Sheraton Hotel District, P.O. Box 22347. The telephone number of the Consular Section is (967) (1) 755-2000, extension 2153 or 2266.  For after-hours emergencies, please call (967) (1) 755-2000 (press zero for extension) or (967) 733-213-509.  U.S. citizens can also reach the consular section via e-mail at SanaaACS@state.gov.