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However, the group has already showed its will to reach beyond the Middle East, claiming responsibility for the failed attempt to down a Detroit-bound jetliner with a suicide bomber in December.

Whether various al Qaeda affiliates coordinate action or communicate with each other is unknown, but experts tend to doubt that is the case.

Meanwhile, a Yemeni official said Sunday that warplanes bombed al Qaeda hide-outs in the country’s south, killing five militants.

Security measures were tightened around foreign interests and Western embassies in San’a for possible terrorists acts, a security official said. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Police closed the main road leading to the U.S. embassy and security measures were tightened around the British Embassy and the French Embassy.

On Friday, the Department of State warned U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities and France urged families of French workers there to leave the country on security concerns. Britain has urged its citizens to remain vigilant in Yemen.

On Oct. 6, attackers fired a rocket at a convoy carrying Britain’s No. 2 diplomat in Yemen and a separate attack on the same day by a security guard killed a French oil worker. Britain’s deputy chief of mission Fionna Gibb was unharmed in the rocket attack but another embassy official suffered minor injuries.

The British Foreign Office had no comment.

Ahmed al-Haj in San’a, Yemen contributed to this story.