Sunday, December 23, 2012

Stupid Tourists Traveling To Dangerous Places- 2 Finns and 1 Austrian Abducted In Yemen

There are certain countries in the world that should be off limits to anyone with a brain and no pressing need to travel there. In this day and age, many of those are located in the greater Middle East. Some might have been considered relatively safe for tourists prior to the Arab Spring, but not so much any longer. And with al-Qaeda's rise to prominence in some of those countries- Yemen comes to mind- one would think that people would cross those places off their bucket list, but no. I'm sure three people right now are wishing they had done so.

It seems an Austrian and Finnish man, and a Finnish woman are the latest kidnapping victims of al-Qaeda. This time in Yemen. Apparently the three were allegedly abducted by AQAP in Sanaa as they were about to head on down to the southern port of Aden.  The south happens to be a haven for al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), they have kidnapped many before, including Saudi Diplomat Abdallah al-Khalidi who has not been seen since March, but this obviously was not a deterrent to the fearless three.

But these abductions are not recent events. Back in 1998 a bunch of tourists were kidnapped and some killed in the battle between Yemeni troops trying to rescue them and the militants holding them hostage. The UK still advises its citizens not to travel there. So does Australia and the U.S., and I would venture to say most countries have similar travel advisories.

The two males were in Sanaa supposedly studying Arabic. Couldn't they have signed up for Rosetta Stone, or at least found a less dangerous location to learn Arabic?  They do exist. And the female had just arrived in Yemen. An incredibly stupid place for a woman to travel alone, though I assume she must have known the other Finn.

According to a Yemeni official, in  a bid to free imprisoned fellow militants al-Qaeda had said they would abduct foreigners and "stage bank hold ups."

Although I hope the three are freed, they have no-one to blame but themselves.

Source: Al Arabiya

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