Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson cancelled his trip to Israel, scheduled for December 27, citing security concerns.
At an event in Iowa on Thursday, Carson told reporters that “it’s classified information so I’m just going to say it’s too dangerous.”
“I’m not going to go to Israel at this time,” he said. “I would’ve gone if I was doing it in conjunction with the trip, but you know, I’ve been there. I will be there in the future. I think this might be a good time to spend a little more time at home.”
Armstrong Williams, Carson’s business manager and confidant gave details. “Boko Haram in Kenya and Nigeria had an interest in Dr. Carson. We certainly weren’t going to endanger his life or anybody else’s life.’’
Another possible concern centered around the Israel leg of the tour. The US State Department extended a travel warning for Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza on Wednesday, saying that “the security environment remains complex”.
“The security situation can change day to day, depending on the political situation, recent events, and geographic area,” the warning reads. “A rise in political tensions and violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank has resulted in injuries to and deaths of U.S. citizens.”
Carson visited Jordan last month where he met with Syrian refugees at Azraq camp. After the meeting, he suggested providing aid to Muslim-majority countries to help them absorb refugees, as an alternative to bringing refugees into the US.
Carson scheduled visits to Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia were also cancelled. His whirlwind tour was to cope with concerns that he is inexperienced in foreign policy and international relations.
Recent polls showed Carson to be in third place in the race for the Republican candidacy with a recent poll giving him 11% of the electorate, behind front-runner Donald Trump and losing ground to second place Ted Cruz.