Authorities have foiled a plot by al Qaeda militants to seize a Canadian-run oil terminal in Yemen and then kill or kidnap foreigners working there, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
The Times said the development was the first indication of the nature of an al Qaeda threat that prompted mass closings of US diplomatic missions in the region from Sunday.
News that the plot had been disrupted coincided with reports of a fresh drone attack that killed seven people in southeastern Yemen, although it was not clear whether the two events were related, the Times said.
Yemeni security officials did not say how the plot was foiled.
But they told the Times al Qaeda operatives wearing Yemeni army uniforms planned to take control of the Canadian-run Mina al-Dhaba oil terminal on the Arabian Sea in the southeast of the country.
They then intended to kill or kidnap foreigners working there.
Yemen is the stronghold of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the al Qaeda affiliate seen as the most capable of launching large scale attacks on western interests.