State Department Extends Closure Of Embassies | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

State Department Extends Closure Of Embassies

Update At 4:40 p.m. ET:

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says Sunday that the embassy and consulate closures will be extended:

In a statement, Psaki says the decision was taken "out of an abundance of caution" and the it was "not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution ... to protect our employees."

The statement says:

"Posts in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antanarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis are instructed to close for normal operations Monday, August 5 through Saturday, August 10.

The following posts that are normally open on Sunday, but were closed on Sunday, August 4, are authorized to reopen for normal operations on August 5: Dhaka, Algiers, Nouakchott, Kabul, Herat, Mazar el Sharif, Baghdad, Basrah, and Erbil."

Here's our earlier post:

Twenty-two U.S. diplomatic posts in the Muslim world remain closed on Sunday amid a global travel warning for Americans issued by the State Department.

U.S. officials are concerned about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the Middle East and Arabian peninsula.

President Obama met on Saturday with his senior security team, led by National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

"The president has received frequent briefings over the last week on all aspects of the potential threat and our preparedness measures," according to a White House statement.

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston tells NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that the closing of the embassies and consulates is the result of "an increase in ... chatter" picked up electronically and "some intercepts ... from senior officials of al-Qaida".

Dina says there's a couple of possible scenarios:

"[Either] they know something is out there, but they don't know what it is. Or, the more likely scenario is that the U.S. knows the likely target but doesn't want to give clues to ways and methods. ... So, they've provided a broader alert."

She says "there are some clues" that the threat might originate in Yemen or Iraq.

"U.S. allies have closed their embassies in Yemen and the al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen is considered one of the most dangerous," she notes.

"The other possibility is Iraq," noting that the U.S. just closed another consulate there. "Al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq, which is thought to have been behind these prison breaks last month that freed hundreds of operatives is really sort of getting more muscular and it's possible they may have decided to turn to international targets."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Picasso, Nazis And A Daring Escape In 'My Grandfather's Gallery'

As a little girl, Anne Sinclair knew Pablo Picasso. She talks with NPR's Scott Simon about why she didn't want the master to paint her picture, and her new memoir, My Grandfather's Gallery.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba makes the biggest debut on the NYSE ever. The details, and the other tech stories that piqued our interest, are in this week's roundup.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.