Since the Mercer Survey in December, the security situation in Yemen has rapidly deteriorated, due to uprisings against the government and instability opening a door for terrorism. Both the State Department and the British Foreign Office are advising against all travel to Yemen and urging their citizens to leave while some commercial carriers are still flying there.
There is a threat of kidnap by armed tribes, criminals and terrorists. A U.N. Development Program official was kidnapped from central Sana’a on Jan. 15 and released 12 days later after negotiations. Due to the successful ransom negotiations concluded by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), there are fears this could encourage more kidnappings. There is a strong possibility that any captive in Yemen could be sold to AQAP. The threat to Westerners is further heightened by the current security situation, and AQAP’s evolving presence in the south is likely to lead to a situation more conducive to kidnappings.