Political Analysis

Attacks Targeting Foreigners in Yemen: 1 Sep. 2013 – 5 May 2014

National Yemen


Between 1 Sep. 2013 to 5 May 2014, eighteen foreigners were the target of an attack or kidnapping attempt in Yemen. US and German nationals were targeted the most, each accounting for 17% (3) of foreigners targeted. Followed by 11% (2) France, 11% (2) UK, 5% (1) Sierra Leone, 5% (1) Iran, 5% (1) Djibouti, 5% (1) Uzbekistan, 5% (1) Japan, 5% (1) Italy, 5% (1) UAE and 5% (1) Czech Republic.

Between 1 Jan. 2014 to 5 May 2014, the number of foreigners targeted (14) was more than triple that compared to foreigners targeted (4) during the same previous four month time period of 1 Sep. 2013 to 31 Dec. 2013. Attacks have increased significantly, in just a 22-day-period between 13 Apr. to 5 May 2014, eight foreigners were attacked in Sanaa. In 2014, all 14 attacks against foreigners were kidnapping attempts. Six of those attempts were successful (1 Uzbek, 1 Italian, 1 Czech, 2 Britons, 1 German). The other eight attempts failed, of those, two of the targets (1 French, 1 Iranian) were killed and two others (1 German, 1 French) injured after resisting the attackers. Three of the targets (2 Americans, 1 German, 1 Emirati) escaped unharmed. In the case of the 24 Apr. 2014 attempted kidnapping of two US Embassy officers, the officers shot and killed both attackers.

Between 1 Sep. 2013 to 31 Dec. 2013, the four attacks against foreigners were kidnapping attempts. Three of the attempts were successful (1 American, 1 Djibouti, 1 Sierra Leonean) and one of the attempts failed, a Japanese diplomat resisted his attackers and escaped with injuries.

Attacks targeting foreigners are most likely to occur in Sanaa. Ninety-four percent of the attacks between 1 Sep. 2013 to 5 May 2014 occurred in Sanaa. Only one attack occurred outside Sanaa in Ma’rib Province. The area in Sanaa where an attack is most likely to occur is Hadda District. Hadda is an area that is frequented by foreigners and home to several embassies. In 2014, ninety-three percent of attacks targeting foreigners (13) occurred in Hadda.

This report includes information on significant attacks in Yemen targeting foreigners carried out by terrorist or rebel groups from 1 Sep. 2013 – 5 May 2014. Kidnappings determined to be purely criminal in nature were not counted. The report tracks the number of people kidnapped rather than the number of incidents. For example, five hostages taken in one incident is recorded as five. The data in this report is based off current records in the IntelCenter Database (ICD) Hostage and Incident components as of 10 May 2014.

The IntelCenter Database (ICD) allows users to easily create charts tracking tactics and targeting along with many other metrics related to terrorist and rebel groups. As of 10 May 2014, the ICD has detailed records on more than 119,000 incidents. IntelCenter also provides analytical support services on terrorist and rebel tactics and targeting.

Reporting and original source materials are contained in the IntelCenter Database (ICD). Sign up for a free 14-day trial of the ICD and see additional details by clicking here. IntelCenter has available similar analysis for other groups and subjects. For more information, to schedule an online WebEx demo or to discuss how IntelCenter can assist with your needs, email info@intelcenter.com or call 800-719-8750.