The State Department extended this weekend’s terror alert until August 10, keeping nineteen embassies closed for the week, as lawmakers spoke of a “large operation” that may link back to the current leader of al Qaeda.
That the threat came from an intercepted message among senior al Qaeda members has been known for several days, but more details have not been released. However, according to Reuters, “the U.S. alert followed a renewed warning from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to take revenge for U.S. drone attacks on its fighters and imprisonment of Islamist militants in Guantanamo.” On Friday, al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al Qaeda, accused the U.S. of orchestrating former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster.
On CBS Sunday morning, Representative Mike McCaul said the threat was “specific and credible.”
Out of an “abundance of caution,” the State Department said on its website Sunday that it would keep multiple embassies closed for the week. “This is not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees including local employees and visitors to our facilities,” the release said.
Twenty-two embassies have already been closed for the weekend following the alert, which came as a result of the intercepted threat, on top of the confluence of the date with the end of Ramadan and the recent jail breaks of al Qaeda members.
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