The United States and Britain closed their embassies in Yemen yesterday over security concerns about possible militant attacks after the failed bombing of a U.S.-bound plane on Christmas Day.

The U.S. embassy cited threats by al-Qaida, which U.S. intelligence agencies believe has a growing presence in Yemen. In Washington, an aide to President Barack Obama said the United States had indications al-Qaida was planning an attack in Sanaa.

“We know that al-Qaida is out there. We know we have to mind our steps,” homeland security and counterterrorism aide John Brennan told CNN.


Yemen, facing a Shi’ite rebellion in the north and separatist protests in the south, has already tightened security on its coast to stop Islamist militants infiltrating from Somalia, and held talks with a U.S. general on strengthening cooperation.

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