Al-Qaeda, the vicious terrorist group has now set its guns toward Australians currently in Yemen and the government is urging Aussie citizens to get out now.
The United Kingdom along with the United States has already begun evacuating all ambassadors and representatives and, has intensified security within the Middle East.
A representative for Bob Carr, Foreign Affairs Minister, says the terror threat level in Yemen is high.
“We’ll be contacting all 20 of them again tonight to again urge them to consider leaving the country by commercial means … in response to this immediate US concern.”
Action has been taken on the heels of the United States who have already closed 19 consulates and embassies in Africa and the Middle East, after capturing intel from radicals including Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of al-Qaeda which called for attacks against the U-S and its interests.
One Australian embassy just off the shores of Madagascar in Mauritius has been driven to shut down because of its location which is within the same building as the U-S embassy which has already closed its doors.
All other Australian embassies in Middle East provinces have continued operations.
Current data shows there are around 16,000 Australians listed as living or visiting the Middle East though there are an additional 30,000 overall within the province.
Mr. Carr says although the terror threat is high they are opting NOT to close all embassies.
“We’ve reviewed the security of the embassies in the countries the U-S has highlighted. Given the nature of the information the U-S has given us, we are comfortable with leaving them open at this stage… Security people at those embassies … will keep that under constant review over this period.”
There are a number of concerns throughout Middle Eastern countries though the primary center seems to be Yemen where al-Qaeda’s forces have been engaged in drone war battles with the U-S military.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, who appeared on late-night with Jay Leno, sent a message to the American people, not to worry.
“If people are paying attention, checking with the State Department or embassy, going on the website before you travel, find out what kind of precautions you should be taking, then I think it still makes sense for people to take vacations.”
“They just have to make sure that they’re doing so in a prudent way,” Obama said.
Major countries such as Germany, France and Britain have all closed it embassies in Yemen and have advised its employees to exit the country.
Respective nations including Italy, Netherlands and Belgium have all encouraged their citizens to get out of Yemen.
Security sources say at least 7 al-Qaeda radicals may have been killed in south Yemen by U-S drone attacks. Sources say in less than 3 weeks, there have been 5 U-S drone attacks in the Yemen region.
U-S government officials believe Yemen has one of the most active al-Qaeda terror cells in the world.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued travel warnings to all travellers.
Reassess your travel plans to these countries
- Saudi Arabia
Use extreme caution when visiting these regions
- United Arab Emirates
- Israel, West Bank and Gaza Strip
Apply customary safeguards
Extremely dangerous countries – do not travel