The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

August 5, 2013

State Dept: Posts in 19 cities to remain closed

— WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid online "chatter" about terror threats, U.S. diplomatic posts in 19 cities in the Muslim world will be closed at least through the end of this week, the State Department said.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the decision to keep the embassies and consulates shuttered is a sign of an "abundance of caution" and is "not an indication of a new threat."

Lawmakers, though, said the intercepted chatter suggested that a major terrorist attack was in the planning stages. One lawmaker said the chatter was specific as to certain dates and the scope of the operation.

Psaki said the continued closures are "merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees, including local employees, and visitors to our facilities."

Diplomatic facilities will remain closed in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, among other countries, through Saturday, Aug. 10. The State Department announcement Sunday added closures of four African sites, in Madagascar, Burundi, Rwanda and Mauritius.

The U.S. has also decided to reopen some posts on Monday, including those in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Baghdad.

The Obama administration announced Friday that the posts would be closed over the weekend and the State Department announced a global travel alert, warning that al-Qaida or its allies might target either U.S. government or private American interests.

The intercepted intelligence foreshadowing an attack on U.S. or Western interests is evidence of one of the gravest threats to the United States since 9/11, according to several lawmakers who made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows.

"This is the most serious threat that I've seen in the last several years," Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia told NBC's "Meet the Press Sunday. "Chatter means conversation among terrorists about the planning that's going on — very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11."

Text Only
State and Nation
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee