Government warns travelers of potential terror attacks
“Current information suggests that al-Qaida 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 department said. The attacks are seen as occurring in or emanating from the Arabian peninsula, according to the statement, and “may involve public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.”
The British Foreign Office said Friday on its Twitter feed that its embassy in Yemen will be closed Aug. 4-5, with some staff being temporarily withdrawn. It said embassies in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Bahrain will be open Aug. 4, though staff are advised to be extra-vigilant.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger of Maryland, said information coming in to security officials warranted a broad warning to citizens.
Harf also pointed reporters to a “Worldwide Caution” the department issued in February of this year warning Americans that “current information suggests that al-Qaida, its affiliated organizations, and other terrorist organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions.”
The announcement that embassies will be closed this weekend came after terrorist groups freed prisoners in several countries.
Documents purportedly from al-Qaida fighters in Mali and obtained by the Associated Press outline a strategy of kidnapping “in exchange for the drone strategy.”
“I think the program will end, as we have eliminated most of the threat and continue to eliminate it,” Kerry said in an interview broadcast by the PTV network in Pakistan.
The British Foreign Office said it will review safety at its embassies after the U.S. announcement, according to the Telegraph newspaper.
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