Al Qaeda-Linked Threat Prompts U.S. to Close Middle East Embassies on Sunday

Secretary of State John Kerry meets staff members at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan on Aug. 1, 2013. Secretary of State John Kerry meets staff members at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan on Aug. 1, 2013. Jason Reed/AP

The United States will temporarily shut down all of its embassies in the Middle East (and some in Asia) on Sunday in response to a possible threat connected to al-Qaeda, NBC News is reporting. They're not specifying which embassies will be closed, or how many. 

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told NBC that the decision came after the U.S. was "apprised of information that out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations, that indicates we should institute these precautionary steps," but didn't provide much more on the closures beyond that. The decision to close might be extended beyond Sunday, depending on what the department knows about the continuing threat. Here's what an unnamed official at the department said to the network about the closures: 

All embassies that are usually open in Sundays — primarily those in Muslim countries and Israel — would be closed Aug. 4 "out of an abundance of caution." Sunday is a normal workday in those countries. The officials said the threat appeared to have originated somewhere in the Middle East and to be related to al-Qaeda. It was aimed at overseas diplomatic posts, not at facilities inside the U.S., they said.

Read more on The Atlantic Wire

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.