WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Citing threats by al-Qaeda in Yemen, the United States closed its embassy in the country on Sunday.
John Brennan, U.S. President Barack Obama's assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, speaks during an interview on Fox News Sunday in Washington January 3, 2010.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
"The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa is closed today, Jan. 3, 2010, in response to ongoing threats by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to attack American interests in Yemen," said the embassy in a statement.
John Brennan, President Barack Obama's aide on homeland security and counterterrorism, told CNN that there are indications that al-Qaeda has been planning to carry out an attack against a target inside Sanaa.
"What we do is to take every measure possible to ensure the safety of our diplomats and citizens abroad, so the decision was made to close the embassy," said Brennan, adding that the administration is working closely with the Yemen government on strengthening security protection.
Yemeni soldiers stand guard in front of the U.S. Embassy in the capital Sanaa, Yemen, in this Sept. 18, 2008 file photo. (Xinhua/AFP Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
Last month, Yemeni officials said raids against AQAP hideouts in the southern province of Abyan and Arhab district, to the northeast of Sanaa, left 34 militants killed and dozens others arrested.
The AQAP, which said the deadly strikes were conducted by the United States, has claimed responsibility for a foiled Christmas Day attempt to bomb a U.S. aircraft.
LONDON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Britain has agreed to continue working hand-in-glove with the United States to tackle the evolving threats of terrorism from Yemen and Somalia, the prime minister's office said on Sunday.
Both Britain and the United States have already provided support and funding to the Yemeni authorities to help in their efforts to combat the terrorist threat. Measures include support for a special counter-terrorist police unit and for the Yemeni coastguard operation. Full story
WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed Saturday in Hawaii that the failed attack on a Detroit-bound plane over Christmas was linked to an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen.
"The investigation into the Christmas Day incident continues, and we're learning more about the suspect (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab)," Obama said in his weekly radio and video address released by the White House on Saturday. Full story
WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- A White House advisor defended the U.S. intelligence community's counterterrorism efforts on Sunday, saying they did not miss "smoking gun" leading to the plot to blow up a U.S. international flight on Christmas.
"There is no smoking gun," said John Brennan, President Barack Obama's top advisor on counterterrorism affairs, in a CNN program. "There was no single piece of intelligence that said, 'this guy is going to get on a plane.'" Full story
WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government on Sunday released new security procedures for travelers of the U.S.-bound flights from foreign countries, especially seven countries that are deemed "terrorism sponsors," according to local media reports. Full story
Staff at the U.S. Transporation Security Administration (TSA) Systems Integration Facility, one playing the role of a airline passenger (L) demonstrate the use of Millimeter Wave technology for passenger security screening in Washington, December 30, 2009. The TSA demonstrated two advanced imaging technologies that are used to safely screen passengers for metallic and non-metallic threats including weapons, explosives and other objects concealed under layers of clothing without physical contact.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhuanet)-- The wide use of full-body scanning at airports now being discussed at the White House has set off hot criticism from privacy advocates who call it a "virtual strip search," according to media reports Thursday. Full story
A security official patrols Terminal 4 of John F. Kennedy airport on December 28 in the Queens borough of New York City.(Xinhua/AFP Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. intelligence community knew of al-Qaeda's plot to bomb an U.S. flight on the Christmas, but it could not pinpoint the terrorist group's target out of flooding information before Dec. 25, according to a TV report on Wednesday.
The CBS news report cited an a high-ranking counterterrorism official as saying that despite knowledge of a "Christmas surprise" al-Qaeda threatened to make, the U.S. intelligence agencies were not able to piece together the details in time to prevent the attempted bombing of a Delta/Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan. Full story
WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- The United States and Yemen are cooperating in looking at targets for potential retaliation strike after a Nigerian attempted to blow up a U.S. airliner and claimed he obtained material and instruction in Yemen, CNN reported on Tuesday. Full story