Most US Embassies to Reopen After Terror Threat in Mideast

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By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor
August 10, 2013|11:22 am

All the U.S. embassies and consulates that were closed last week after a global terror threat will reopen on Sunday, except the embassy in Yemen, the State Department announced Friday evening.

Apart from the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, the U.S. consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, will also remain closed due to a separate terror threat, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

"We will continue to evaluate the threats to Sanaa and Lahore and make subsequent decisions about the reopening of those facilities based on that information," Psaki said. "We will also continue to evaluate information about these and all of our posts and to take appropriate steps to best protect the safety of our personnel, American citizens traveling overseas and visitors to our facilities."

After the interception of electronic communications among senior operatives of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who appeared to be planning attacks against U.S. and Western targets, the State Department last Friday issued a global terror alert and asked the U.S. embassies to close down.

"The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula," the Department said in its statement last week. "Current information suggests that al Qaeda 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 United States took the rare step of shutting down embassies and issuing a global travel alert based on the interception of electronic communications of the AQAP together with a warning from Yemeni officials.

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While most of the embassies will reopen on Sunday, the travel alert will remain in place until Aug. 31.

The countries where U.S. embassies were closed down include Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The consulates in Arbil in Iraq, Dhahran and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, and Dubai in United Arab Emirates were also shut down.

The State Department's alerts coincided with reports about the appointment of AQAP head Nasser al-Wahishi as the overall general manager of the al Qaeda by the terror network's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

In his speech that appeared on jihadist forums last week, Al-Zawahiri called for attacks on American interests to avenge U.S. military actions in the Muslim world and drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.

 

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