, WASHINGTON, August 3 – The United States issued a worldwide warning Friday that Al-Qaeda may attack in August as it ordered shut its embassies across the Islamic world.
Britain also said it would temporarily close its embassy in Yemen as US lawmakers said the threat likely involved Al-Qaeda’s franchise in the country.
The State Department said attacks were possible “particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.”
President Barack Obama had ordered his national security team to “take all appropriate steps to protect the American people,” a White House official said.
“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 State Department said in a worldwide travel alert for US citizens.
The alert warned of “the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.”
“It is much more specific than any of the threat lines that I’ve seen in the past 10 years,” said Representative Peter King, a Republican who serves on the House intelligence committee.
As a precaution, the State Department said it was closing at least 22 US embassies or consulates on Sunday, a work day in many Islamic countries.
The missions cover virtually all of the Arab world and also include two embassies in predominantly Muslim non-Arab nations Afghanistan and Bangladesh as well as US run facilities in Israel.