Threat Prompts Closing of 21 U.S. Embassies


Personnel Clerk
SOF Support
May 10, 2012
Shaking a tree! Do you see me on the map?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The threat of a terrorist attack led to the weekend closure of 21 U.S. embassies and consulates in the Muslim world and a global travel warning to Americans, the first such alert since an announcement before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 strikes.

"There is a significant threat stream and we're reacting to it," Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told ABC News, according to interview excerpts released Friday. He said the threat was "more specific" than previous ones and the "intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests."

The warning comes less than a year since last year's deadly Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, and with the Obama administration and Congress determined to prevent any similar breach of an American embassy or consulate.

The State Department's warning urged U.S. travelers to take extra precautions overseas. It cited potential dangers involved with public transportation systems and other prime sites for tourists, and noted that previous attacks have centered on subway and rail networks as well as airplanes and boats.

Travelers were advised to sign up for State Department alerts and register with U.S. consulates in the countries they visit.

The statement said that al-Qaida or its allies might target either U.S. government or private American interests. The alert expires on Aug. 31.

The State Department said the potential for terrorism was particularly acute in the Middle East and North Africa, with a possible attack occurring on or coming from the Arabian Peninsula. The diplomatic facilities affected stretch from Mauritania in northwest Africa to Afghanistan.

U.S. officials pointed specifically to Yemen, the home of al-Qaida's most dangerous affiliate and the network blamed for several notable plots against the United States, from the foiled Christmas Day 2009 effort to bomb an airliner over Detroit to the explosives-laden parcels intercepted the following year aboard cargo flights.

"Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August," a department statement said.

Yemen's president, Abdo Rabby Mansour Hadi, met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday, where both leaders cited strong counterterrorism cooperation. This past week, Yemen's military reported a U.S. drone strike killed six alleged al-Qaida militants in the group's southern strongholds.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, said the embassy threat was linked to al-Qaida and concerned the Middle East and Central Asia.

"In this instance, we can take a step to better protect our personnel and, out of an abundance of caution, we should," Royce said. He declined to say if the National Security Agency's much-debated surveillance program helped reveal the threat.
Good, I still am amazed considering the exaulted one declared A-Q dead, over, finito.

Well, he's pretty sure he knows everything. I'm sure these prison breaks were just a coincidence or never even happened. :whatever: :wall:

Interpol has issued a global security alert in connection with suspected al-Qaeda involvement in several recent prison escapes, including those in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan.

The Lyon, France-based international police agency says that the alert follows "the escape of hundreds of terrorists and other criminals" in the past month, said USA Today. The alert calls on Interpol's 190 member countries to help determine whether these events are coordinated or linked, the organization said in a statement.

Interpol says it issues such alerts fairly regularly, the last one 10 days ago following jailbreaks from Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison and the Taji prison near Baghdad.

In the most recent escape, 248 prisoners were sprung from a jail in north-west Pakistan, said BBC News.

Taliban militants used automatic weapons and bombs to break down the walls of the jail in Dera Ismail Khan on July 30. At least 13 people were killed, including six police, said BBC News.
I chuckle when of al Qaeda being dead. The Soviet Union's gone and we still have Communists. Nazi Germany's gone and we still have Nazis. UBL's dead and we still have AlQ. Why?

You can't kill an idea.
San Francisco PD on heightened alert, too.

SFPD On Heightened Alert After State Dept. Terror Advisory

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP/BCN) — San Francisco police said they were on heightened alert following a U.S. State Department terror alert over the weekend that also shut down 19 U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

There was no direct threat to San Francisco, but police were monitoring various areas around the city and would deploy more resources if needed, SFPD Officer Gordon Shyy said Sunday evening.

“I want to remind citizens if they ‘see something, say something,’” Shyy said. “We want to be proactive given the State Department’s warnings in order to protect our citizens and infrastructure in San Francisco.”

Nineteen embassies and consulates closed Sunday in response to the security alert and were to remain closed through this coming Saturday.

Travelers and U.S. citizens living abroad were first warned Friday that terrorist attacks were being planned this month against U.S. and Western targets, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” the State Department said in the advisory.

U.S. citizens were especially warned to remain aware of the potential for attacks on public transportation systems and other infrastructure.

Travelers should stay aware of their surroundings and adopt appropriate safety precautions, the advisory said.