- Inmates escaped from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the al-Kwyfah facility in Libya and a number of other jails
- Detectives fear they intend to hit British and other Western targets around the festival of Eid – which takes place this week
- UK closes embassy in Yemen after receiving tip-off that Al Qaeda was planning to attack a Western embassy
Interpol has linked a worldwide Al Qaeda terror warning to a series of jailbreaks that have freed more than 1,500 suspected terrorists in the last fortnight.
Detectives fear that inmates who escaped from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the al-Kwyfah facility in Libya and a number of other jails intend to hit British and other Western targets around the festival of Eid – which takes place this week.
The Foreign Office has announced the temporary closure of the embassy in Yemen after receiving a tip-off that Al Qaeda was planning to attack a Western embassy there.
Breakouts: 1,500 suspected terrorists have escaped from prisons including Abu Ghraib iin Iraq (pictured) in the last fortnight
The intelligence indicating a threat to Western embassies in the Arabian peninsula is believed to have come from intercepted communications, though this has not been publicly disclosed.
The British embassies in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq will remain open but staff have been advised to ‘exercise extravigilance’.
Interpol suspects Al Qaeda staged the jailbreaks as part of a major recruitment drive. The agency has asked its 190 member states for assistance in establishing whether they were ‘co-ordinated or linked’.
Britain has temporarily closed its embassy in Yemen after receiving a tip-off that Al-Qaeda was planning to attack a Western Embassy there (file picture)
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said: ‘There is a significant threat stream and we’re reacting to it. The threat is more specific than previous ones and the intent is to attack Western, not just US interests.’
It is with this in mind that the Foreign Office said it was closing the embassy in San’a today and tomorrow. The embassy has also recently been operating with a reduced staff for the same reason.
The Foreign Office has issued a stark warning to Britons in Yemen, urging them to ‘leave now’. Only a few hundred British people are believed to live in the country, mostly working for the embassy, charities, oil companies and the United Nations.