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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04SANAA673 2004-03-23 09:45:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Sanaa
Cable title:  

SANAA EAC MEETING - 22 MARCH 2004

Tags:   ASEC AMGT PREL PTER YM EAC 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 000673 

SIPDIS

NOFORN

DS/DSS, DS/IP/NEA, DS/DSS/ITA, DS/ICI/PII, S/CT, NEA,
NEA/ARP, NEA/EX, NEA/P, CA, CENTCOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/2014
TAGS: ASEC AMGT PREL PTER YM EAC
SUBJECT: SANAA EAC MEETING - 22 MARCH 2004

REF: SECSTATE 62362

Classified By: Ambassador Edmund J. Hull, for reasons 1.5 (B) and (D)



1. (S/NF) Begin summary: Ambassador convened an EAC meeting
on March 22, 2004, to review security conditions for Embassy
personnel and the general American community in light of
Israel's assassination of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed
Yassin (reftel). Ambassador commenced the EAC with an
overview of the Yassin assassination. ORCA Chief and the
Regional Security Officer (RSO) assessed that the Yassin
attack did not pose an increased risk of terrorism against
U.S. interests in Yemen, but demonstrations were likely and
violent acts by individuals probable. Additional threat
information was also discussed, some of which was assessed to
be unsubstantiated rumor. DCM reviewed the 3/19 Ethiopian
refugee incident. Prior to the EAC meeting, the Embassy
issued a Warden message warning American citizens to avoid
possible demonstrations that may arise as a result of the
Yassin assassination. After the EAC Ambassador raised this
issue at a Warden meeting and emphasized the need for
Americans to lower their profile. Key offices and personnel
represented included: AMB, DCM, POL/ECON, CONS, MO, PD, ORCA,
OMC, SOCE-Yemen, FPD, AID and RSO. End Summary.



--------------------------


Assassination Overview and Threat Assessment


--------------------------





2. (S/NF) Ambassador briefed EAC members on the
assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Ambassador explained
that the Hamas presence in Yemen is political, possessing no
operational capability. Ambassador advised that there will
nevertheless be widespread popular sympathy for Yassin within
Yemen. While the Yassin assassination is unlikely to
increase the likelihood of terrorism against U.S. interests
in Yemen, Ambassador noted the possibility of violent action
by an enraged individual, such as the March 2002 Embassy
grenade attack perpetrated by a lone, mentally unbalanced
individual.



3. (S/NF) ORCA Chief concurred with Ambassador's
assessment, stating that Hamas focuses on fundraising
activity but does not maintain an operational wing in Yemen.
ORCA advised that the Republic of Yemen Government (ROYG)
embraces Hamas and that potentially violent demonstrations by
Yemeni citizens are more likely than a Hamas terrorist attack
in Yemen. All EAC elements, including intelligence sources,
concur that no immediate threat of terrorist attacks is
indicated; but, demonstration(s) over coming days are
possible. ORCA Chief added that the Political Security
Organization (PSO) currently has no information regarding
threats or demonstrations relating to this issue.



4. (S/NF) RSO advised that the Ministry of Interior (MOI)
does not foresee a major threat emanating from the
assassination of Sheikh Yassin but assured RSO that the MOI
would inform the Embassy immediately if a threat was
recognized. Furthermore, RSO briefed on two March 22
incidents that were possibly, but not definitely, linked to
the assassination, citing a gathering of university students
in northwest Sanaa and the temporary closing of Tahrir Square
in downtown Sanaa by ROYG authorities.



5. (S/NF) RSO expanded the focus on threats beyond the
assassination, mentioning: 1) the development of Islah party
members' ill will toward Jibla Hospital expatriate workers
who volunteered medical and teaching services at a Jibla
school. The services were withdrawn March 12th to placate
those Islah party members who perceived the Jibla Hospital
staff's volunteerism as supporting the ruling General
People's Congress party; 2) improvised explosive devices
found in Amran, Yemen, thought to be linked to labor disputes
with a Japanese-owned cement plant; and 3) rumors about two
vehicular bombs in Sanaa. RSO and ORCA Chief shared the
assessment that the rumors about the vehicular bombs are
false.



--------------------------


Ethiopian Refugee Clarification


--------------------------




6. (S/NF) DCM discussed the Ethiopian refugee protest that
occurred outside UNHCR (adjacent to DCMR) on 03/19/2004. DCM
clarified that this is a refugee and immigration issue, not
one of security, and in no way involves the United States.
RSO added that based on this issue, the MOI reiterated its
desire to receive riot control training. Ambassador advised
that MOI's request made INL's pending offer of such training
especially timely.



--------------------------


Post Advisory Actions


--------------------------





7. (S/NF) Consul stated that the Embassy issued a Warden
message that morning, advising U.S. citizens of the
possibility for large demonstrations to be held in Sanaa and
thus to take necessary precautions. Correspondingly,
Ambassador raised the Yassin assassination issue at a Wardens
meeting convened following the conclusion of the EAC meeting.
EAC advised Embassy employees, and Ambassador reiterated in
the subsequent meeting with American community wardens, that
it is a good time for Americans to lower their profile and
exercise maximum caution.
HULL