The closing of nearly two dozen embassies this weekend was based on “chatter” that reminded many of pre 9/11 leves. A report from the outlines the action taken by embassies throughout the Middle East. They included the release of a worldwide travel alert that warned of al-Qaeda attacks in the Middle East as well as North Africa. According to Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, “there is an awful lot of chatter out there.” Chatter, the communication among terror suspects in preparation for an attack, is tracked by the National Security Agency.
According to NBC News, President Obama was briefed over the weekend about the ongoing threat, and continued to receive briefings throughout the weekend. One reason given for the threats is the ending of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Also, August 7, 2013 will be the 15-year anniversary of the bombing of U. S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in coordinated attacks. European countries were also on alert, with Interpol releasing a global security alert to its member countries regarding prison breaks in the Middle East.
The chatter seemed to have the Sunday political talk shows abuzz. “This is the most serious threat I’ve seen in the last several years,” Chambliss said on Meet The Press Sunday. U.S. Rep. Peter King spoke on the evolution of al-Qaeda as an organization and detailed how the Arabian peninsula faction may be the deadliest of them all. U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, appeared on CNN’s State Of The Union. He went on to say that this was not the normal threat. “This is not the usual type of chatter” he said. “It had to be corroborated or come from very reliable sources to take this kind of action.”
Is the government trying to scare us? Or were they being proactive to prevent an attack? Was the threat overstated or was a bullet dodged, if only figuratively?