Posted by: Chuck | August 3, 2013

Global travel warning: US cites al-Qaida threat


English: Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (Sept. 11,...

English: Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (Sept. 11, 2006) – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace speaks to attendees at a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon remembering the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States issued an extraordinary global travel warning to Americans Friday about the threat of an al-Qaida attack and closed down 21 embassies and consulates across the Muslim world for the weekend. The alert was the first of its kind since an announcement preceding the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This one comes with the scars still fresh from last year’s deadly Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, and with the Obama administration and Congress determined to prevent any similar breach of an American Embassy or consulate. “There is a significant threat stream and we’re reacting to it,” said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He told ABC News in an interview to be aired Sunday that the threat was “more specific” than previous ones and the “intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests.”

English: WASHINGTON (Sept. 11, 2009) President...

English: WASHINGTON (Sept. 11, 2009) President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial as Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff looks on. During the ceremony, a wreath was laid to honor the memory of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tiffini Jones Vanderwyst/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The State Department warning urged American travelers to take extra precautions overseas, citing potential dangers involved with public transportation systems and other prime sites for tourists and noting that previous terrorist attacks have centered on subway and rail networks as well as airplanes and boats. It suggested travelers sign up for State Department alerts and register with U.S. consulates in the countries they visit. The statement said that al-Qaida or its allies might target either U.S. government or private American interests. The alert expires on Aug. 31. The State Department said the potential for terrorism was particularly acute in the Middle East and North Africa, with a possible attack occurring on or coming from the Arabian Peninsula. U.S. officials pointed specifically to Yemen, the home of al-Qaida’s most dangerous offshoot and the network blamed for several notable terrorist plots on the United States, from the foiled Christmas Day 2009 effort to bomb an airliner over Detroit to the explosives-laden parcels intercepted the following year aboard cargo flights. ((Source: Yahoo News & AP)

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