Security was tight at US missions around the Arab world on Sunday as Washington held urgent talks on an al Qaeda threat that prompted it to close 22 embassies and consulates.
Measures were particularly strict in Yemen’s capital, where Britain, France and Germany also closed their embassies following a US warning which lawmakers in Washington said involved al Qaeda’s joint Yemeni and Saudi branch.
But the US alert spread across most Arab capitals and extended further afield to Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Israel, with embassies and other diplomatic missions closed on Sunday, the first day of the working week in many Islamic countries. In Sanaa, special forces with armoured personnel carriers were stationed outside the US embassy and the missions of Britain, France and Germany, an AFP correspondent reported.
Police and army checkpoints were set up on all the Yemeni capital’s main throughfares. Washington considers al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to be the jihadist network’s most active and dangerous branch.