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US Warns Citizens Abroad of Possible Attacks

US Urges Citizens Abroad to Be Ready for Attacksi
August 03, 2013 2:03 AM
The United States is telling its citizens abroad to be on guard for possible terror attacks, while at the same time closing 21 embassies and consulates through Sunday. VOA's Jeff Seldin, at the State Department, has more on what is behind the warnings and what may lie ahead.
US Urges Citizens Abroad to Be Ready for Attacks
The United States is shutting down more than 20 embassies and consulates Sunday and has issued a worldwide travel alert to U.S. citizens, warning of an al-Qaida terrorist threat.
The State Department alert, issued Friday, says the potential for terrorist attacks is particularly strong in the Middle East and North Africa. It says al-Qaida and its affiliates may focus efforts to conduct attacks anytime between now and the end of August and that those attacks could possibly come from the Arabian Peninsula.
On Saturday, the international police organization Interpol issued its own global security alert stemming from recent prison escapes in Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and six other countries.
Interpol says al-Qaida is suspected of involvement in several of the breakouts, which it says led to the escape of "hundreds of terrorists and other criminals."

Embassy closings for Sunday, August 4, 2013Embassy closings for Sunday, August 4, 2013
Embassy closings for Sunday, August 4, 2013
Embassy closings for Sunday, August 4, 2013
The Interpol alert calls on the organization's 190 member countries to help determine whether any of the jailbreaks are coordinated or linked.
Most of the U.S. embassies and consulates being closed Sunday are in the Muslim world — including embassies in Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

 Britain and Germany later announced that they also will close their embassies in Yemen on Sunday and Monday due to increased security concerns.
Britain's Foreign Office noted particular concerns in the final days of Ramadan — the Muslim holy month of fasting.
The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, has called the embassy closures a precautionary measure. Officials say the closures could be extended after an evaluation.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

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Comment Sorting
by: Eric Latreille from: Canada
August 05, 2013 5:26 AM
If any member country in the United Nations has such a vulnerable penal system then maybe the U.N. should be running international prisons that are mandated, empowerd and run by viable, safe and secure institutions. Having these proven monsters back on the streets again is placing every global law abiding citizen at risk. What more is it going to take before civilized, accountable and just peoples stop the atrocities perpetuated them cease?

by: mrd from: Australia
August 03, 2013 9:54 AM
Creation of more bogeyman by certain US policy makers to justify whatever misadventure they are planning in their quest for world domination, or perhaps fear mongering by some rival US agencies just for funding leverages?

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
August 03, 2013 9:37 AM
The action of the US in closing the embassies is unwarranted. Without any intelligence information or specific information, closing of 22 embassies is ridiculous. If there is specific information, only that embassy need closed. Closing of embassies is a cowardly act of the US in the face of growing threat of al-Qaida. Even if the al Qaida did not attack any embassy on the specific dates, they have accomplished the goal of scaring the US and disruption of travel by US citizens. The state department is reacting unreasonably to Al Qaida attacks, while they did not do anything when there was the embassy attack at Benghazi, Libya.
In Response

by: Eric Latreille from: Canada
August 05, 2013 5:40 AM
First and foremost D. K. Thanjan learn how to effectively communicate in the english language before spouting your drivel to an english reading population. Secondly, who are you to determine what actions the state department is taking? Who are you from another nation enjoying the benefits of living in a civilized country to say that Americans are cowards? Anyone who can see beyond their noses can learn about the hundreds of thousands of American men and women who have sacrificed their lives by fighting for democracy on foreign soils.. Why are you in the United States in the first place? Go back to where you belong and try to lead a life that will be better that the opportunity the generousity of the American people are offering to you. You radical, narrow minded, misinformed and misled people should never have been allowed out of where you belong.

by: TropicalStorm from: Colombo, Sri Lanka
August 03, 2013 9:22 AM
Us is a declining power, whose loss of influence worldwide is growing as its support for terrorist causes gets better known. The world no longer respects the US as it has clearly lost the moral high ground once held, but is no longer in any of its actions. That's to be anticipated; both recent incumbents of the White House were blood thirsty animals.
In Response

by: adipocere from: Alabama
August 03, 2013 2:44 PM
The US never had a moral high ground - it simply took over the task of writing the history books and controlling the media after WW2. Instead of German, everyone is speaking English...instead of German fascism you get American fascism. The level of bloodthirst has been fairly consistent for about 70 years.
Our government is not representative of anybody but themselves.

by: John Cox from: New Zealand
August 03, 2013 1:33 AM
The day America stops supporting the terrorist activities of the state of Israel is the day that Muslim terrorists will stop attacking American interests. You are bringing the wrath of the Muslim world upon you by condoning and encouraging Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. You must put American interests ahead of Israel's for once.

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