U.S. Embassies in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia will be closed this weekend as a “precautionary” measure.
Details about the potential security threat are not known but a senior State Department official told NPR that the government was taken the “precautionary step” of closing more than 20 U.S. embassies “out of an abundance of caution.”
Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said: “The Department of State has instructed certain U.S. embassies and consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday.”
The exact number and location of the embassies that will be closed is not known at this time. Bloomberg reports that close to 20 U.S. Embassies will be closed due to the threat in predominately Muslim countries.
Representative Ed Royce of California said: “It’s my understanding that it is al Qaeda-linked, all right, and the threat emanates in the Middle East and in Central Asia… “and as you know we’re going to take whatever steps necessary to protect our personnel overseas. When we do have an indication of a threat, we take that seriously.”
CNN reports that tensions in the middle east are rising with the anniversary of September 11 and the Benghazi attack fast approaching.
CNN, citing two unnamed officials, reports: “Tensions are rising with the approach of both the holy days at the end of Ramadan and the one year anniversary of the September 11th attack on the US compound in Benghazi.”