U.S. State Dept. Announces “real and serious” Threat – U.S. Embassies Closed This Sunday

The U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel alert warning of the potential for terrorist attacks by al Qaeda and its affiliates.

Calling the threat “real and serious”, it has been announced that U.S. Embassies in many Middle Eastern countries will be closed as of this Sunday, and it is uncertain when the temporary shut down will end.  Embassies on the list to be closed include Cairo, Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Baghdad, Kabul, and Bahrain – and more may be announced. The list is up to 22 thus far, all located in predominantly Muslim countries.  (Full list at the bottom of this post)

Officials say this threat assessment is based upon “significant increase in chatter from a growing number of intercepts”.

This is the first time in history that the U.S. has planned to simultaneously close this many embassies. Terrorism expert Xenia Dormandy told useful reference, “The bottom line is clearly they’ve had firm intelligence from multiple sources that there’s an al Qaeda threat or an al Qaeda-affiliated threat.”

It is thought that the threat is emanating from terrorist groups hoping to build upon the fear generated by the attack last year in Benghazi.  Retired Gen. Jack Keane told http://www.taichifinder.co.uk/, “When they sense weakness, they attack. They believe that we’re pulling back, and they were stunned … that we did not come after them immediately after that attack.

I’ve not seen it mentioned, but it may be worth noting that this Sunday marks the inauguration of Iran’s new president Hassan Rowhani.  Next week Wednesday also marks the end of Ramadan, the ninth month on the Islamic calendar, and the month in which Muslims believe the Quran was revealed.  Observing Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, and according to tradition, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” (check my reference)

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told ABC News that the threat was “more specific” than those previously noted, and that the  “intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests.”

Britain is taking similar precautions, announcing that it will close its embassy in Yemen this Sunday and Monday.

Please join me in prayer that everyone remains safe in light of this threat.

state department embassies threat

Below is a full list of embassies to be closed, per the State Dept:

U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

U.S. Embassy Algiers, Algeria

U.S. Embassy Amman, Jordan

U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq

U.S. Embassy Cairo, Egypt

U.S. Consulate Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

U.S. Embassy Djibouti, Djibouti

U.S. Embassy Dhaka, Bangladesh

U.S. Embassy Doha, Qatar

U.S. Consulate Dubai, United Arab Emirates

U.S. Consulate Erbil, Iraq

U.S. Consulate Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan

U.S. Embassy Khartoum, Sudan

U.S. Embassy Kuwait City, Kuwait

U.S. Embassy Manama, Bahrain

U.S. Embassy Muscat, Oman

U.S. Embassy Nouakchott, Mauritania

U.S. Embassy Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

U.S. Embassy Sana’a, Yemen

U.S. Embassy Tripoli, Libya