US embassies all over the world will close Sunday August 4. Concerns about an Al Qaeda terror plot were announced by the State Department this week. Not all consulates and embassies will close, but most will be shutdown in the Middle East on Sunday. Some in Asia will also be closed, officials said.
According to Business Insider, these offices are usually open on Sundays, as they are normal workdays in those countries. An official says that they will be closed on August 4 “out of an abundance of caution.”
Those embassies that will not close will be on heightened alert and kept under close watch by the State Department.
Several officials say the terror plot is connected to terrorist groups. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) told CNN that the threats were real and Al Qaeda-linked, with the threats coming from the Middle East and Central Asia.
Unlike most security alerts, these warnings and embassy closures are not based on an increase in terrorist “chatter.” Terrorist communications chatter refers to how frequently and long terrorists are of talking among each other. This is usually a red flag of an attack coming soon.
However, in this case, authorities at the State Department have said that the warnings are based on a “credible and serious” threat coming from the Middle East region. The attacks will be “directed at American targets overseas.” This may mean attacks will not be confined to just consulates and embassies.
Demonstrations and marches are expected to begin this weekend. During this time many US embassies in the Middle East are expected to gradually reduce their number of working staff to close completely on Sunday.
Closures of US embassies in Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are among those known, along with Libya, Iraq, and Kuwait facilities on Sunday.
[Image via Krokodyl / Wikimedia Commons]