SANAA (Reuters) - Yemeni security forces set up checkpoints across Sanaa on Saturday, searching vehicles and carrying out identity checks after the discovery of a parcel bomb plot originating in Yemen.
Dozens of heavily armed police and military forces were scattered across the Yemeni capital, including the diplomatic quarter and the large ring road around the city, stopping cars and questioning passengers, a Reuters witness said.
Yemen had also stepped up security at its air and seaports, a security official told Reuters.
President Barack Obama said on Friday that two parcels with explosives that were sent from Yemen and intercepted in Britain and Dubai had been bound for “two places of Jewish worship in Chicago.”
Suspicion has fallen on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which operates out of Yemen and claimed responsibility for a failed plot to blow up a U.S. plane over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.
The latest bomb plot will further heighten security concerns about the unstable Arab state, seen by the West as the home of al Qaeda’s most inventive and audacious affiliate.
After the December bomb attempt, Yemen launched a U.S.-backed crackdown on al Qaeda, raiding and shelling militant hideouts and prompting a defiant response from the group which launched a campaign of counterattacks on foreign and government targets.
Reporting by Mohamed Sudam; Writing by Raissa Kasolowsky; editing by Noah Barkin