The United States will open 18 of its 19 shuttered embassies and consulates around the world after they were closed because of a terrorist threat.
The US diplomatic posts are expected to reopen on Sunday, according to a statement from the State Department. However, the embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, will remain closed until further notice.
Officials will also keep the US Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, closed after a separate credible threat, reports The Huffington Post. That post was closed Thursday.
Almost two dozen posts were closed to the public last Saturday after the US issued a worldwide terror threat watch. The majority of the closed embassies and consulates were in the Middle East and Africa.
Most American employees at the Yemen outpost were also ordered to leave the country on Tuesday, while the US requested all American tourists in the country to leave as well.
The terror threat came from an intercepted message from al Qaeda indicated a large-scale attack was in the works, reports The Washington Post.
And while 18 of the US Embassies and Consulates are reopening, the US cited “ongoing concerns about a threat stream” as its reason for keeping the outpost in Yemen closed. The terrorist attack threat was apparently from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Pakistan was not part of the initial embassies closure on Saturday. However, the State Department issued a travel warning for the country on Thursday night, claiming the presence of several terrorist groups, both foreign and domestic, presented a danger to US citizens.
The warning was followed by an order for nonessential government personnel to leave the Lahore consulate. But closing embassies and consulates posed more problems. The response was countered by questions that Obama’s assertions regarding al Qaeda have been incorrect. Last spring, the US president said that al Qaeda’s headquarters was “a shadow of its former self.”
It is unclear what the long-term implications will be of the decision to close so many US Embassies and Consulates. However, we can assume that the terror threat may be over, given the State Department’s decision to reopen the outposts.
[Image by USCapitol via Wikimedia Commons]