US issues global travel alert over al-Qaida terror threat

August 2, 2013 | By | Reply More

Aug. 02, – The US state department has said it is issuing a global travel alert because of an unspecified al-Qaeda threat. In a statement, the department said the potential for an attack was particularly strong in the Middle East and North Africa.

hromedia US issues global travel alert over al-Qaida terror threat intl. news1

The move comes shortly after the US announced 21 embassies and consulates in 18 counties would be shut on Sunday. The alert expires on 31 August 2013, the department said. It recommended US citizens travelling abroad be vigilant.

“Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida 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 statement said.

‘Not chit chat’

Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said the threat was not prompted by “the regular chit chat” gleaned from would-be militants online or elsewhere. “The most important thing we have to do is protect American lives,” he told the Associated Press news agency.

An unnamed senior US official told NBC the threat may be related to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which ends next week. In the Muslim world, Sunday is a work day. In other parts of the world US diplomatic offices are shut on Sunday.

“It is possible we may have additional days of closing as well,” a senior state department official told the BBC on Thursday.

The official said the state department had “been apprised of information” leading it to take these “precautionary steps… out of an abundance of caution”. Last year on 11 September, the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked, leaving four Americans dead.

Other embassies are routinely targets of protesters.

The US diplomatic missions to be closed on Sunday are in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Algiers, Algeria; Amman, Jordan; Baghdad, Iraq; Cairo, Egypt; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Djibouti, Djibouti; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Doha, Qatar; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Erbil, Iraq; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Kabul, Afghanistan; Khartoum, Sudan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Manama, Bahrain; Muscat, Oman; Nouakchott, Mauritania; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Sanaa, Yemen and Tripoli, Libya.

Press journalist for HRO media – Campillo debi, contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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