Saturday, August 3, 2013

 

Al-Qaida threat may be root of U.S. embassies closing

U.S. embassies will be closed Sunday in the Muslim world, officials said, and an al-Qaida threat may be behind the decision.




U.S. embassies close in Muslim world: U.S. Marines walk past the front of the American Embassy February 6, 2007 in Baghdad, Iraq.
US embassies in the Muslim world will be closed this Sunday after a threat, possibly from al-Qaida, was received.
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee said al-Qaida appears to be behind a threat that has prompted 21 U.S. embassies in the Middle East and northern Africa to close this Sunday and for the United States to issue a global alert for American travelers.

"It's my understanding that it is al-Qaida linked ... and the threat emanates in the Middle East and in Central Asia," Rep. Ed Royce said Friday on CNN's "New Day" program.

On Friday, the U.S. State Department released a list of the 21 diplomatic missions, including those in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Sudan, among other countries.


It attributed the threat of attacks "between now and the end of August" to al Qaeda and affiliated organizations.

Royce, a Republican, said he and several other lawmakers met two days ago with Vice President Joe Biden on the threat, "and as you know we're going to take whatever steps necessary to protect our personnel overseas. When we do have an indication of a threat, we take that seriously."

The State Department said Thursday U.S. embassies that would normally be open this Sunday — including those in Abu Dhabi, Baghdad and Cairo — will be closed that day because of unspecified security concerns.

CBS News reported the embassy closings were tied to U.S. intelligence about an al-Qaida plot against American diplomatic posts in Muslim countries in the Middle East and elsewhere.

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