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US Warns of al-Qaida Threat, Closes Embassies August 4

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The United States will shut down more than 20 embassies and consulates Sunday, and has issued a travel alert for U.S. citizens worldwide warning of an al-Qaida terrorist threat.

The State Department said Friday the potential for terrorism is particularly strong in the Middle East and North Africa. It says an attack could come from the Arabian Peninsula, with the potential for al-Qaida-linked attacks possible anytime between now and the end of August.

The security concerns prompted the United States to close the embassies and consulates, mostly in the Muslim world.

Britain and Germany later announced that they will also close 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 month of fasting.



The U.S. State Department has called the embassy closures a precautionary measure. Officials said the closures could be extended after an evaluation.

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