Ben Carson Cancels Trip to Africa, Israel Due to 'Significant Security Concerns'

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson speaks during the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on Dec. 15, 2015 in Las Vegas.PlayRobyn Beck/Getty Images
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Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is canceling his foreign policy trip to Israel and Africa, which was set for the end of December.

Carson's campaign said the decision to cancel the trip was made Wednesday afternoon.

“We decided yesterday afternoon to cancel based on significant security concerns that we had to take seriously,” Communications Director Doug Watts told ABC News. “We just made a decision based on pertinence.”

Watts said there were threats, but would not comment on the nature of them. He noted that the campaign did not “make this decision lightly.”

Carson's week-long planned foreign policy trip was focused in Africa, where he was scheduled to visit the countries of Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia, with a brief stop in Israel before the Africa swing.

Carson was planning to meet with heads of state and senior government officials throughout the trip.

The retired neurosurgeon said he was making the trip for a mix of personal and political reasons, noting that he likes to hear from people first hand to get a better grasp on foreign conflicts.

"I like to hear from people first hand what's going on, interested in hearing from a lot of the people in Nigeria about Boko Haram and what their impression is of the conflicts that are going on, what their impression of the global jihad movement is, how they feel about it, what they feel the solutions are," Carson told reporters earlier this month. "I want to go back to Kenya because Kenya and Tanzania are the places where the Turkana Tribe, which is a migratory tribe, lives and that's where my ancestors came from."

He also planned to visit the Banda twins in Zambia -- conjoined twins he separated about 18 years ago.