U.S. embassies in the Middle East, as well as some in Asia and Northern Africa, will be closed on Sunday because of an al-Qaida related terror threat.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told NBC that the decision came after it was “apprised of information that out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations, that indicates we should institute these precautionary steps.”
NBC noted,”Sunday is President Barack Obama’s 52nd birthday, and it’s also the day Iran inaugurates Hassan Rowhani as its new president,” but U.S. officials have not connected the threat to anything specific.
The information on the closures beyond that was at best sketchy other than to say they may be extended beyond Sunday, depending on what learns about the continuing threat. An unnamed official at the State Department said to NBC about the closures:
All embassies that are usually open on Sundays — primarily those in Muslim countries and Israel — would be closed Aug. 4 “out of an abundance of caution.” Sunday is a normal workday in those countries. The officials said the threat appeared to have originated somewhere in the Middle East and to be related to al-Qaeda. It was aimed at overseas diplomatic posts, not at facilities inside the U.S., they said.
Although the NBC report only mentioned closures on Sunday, Aug. 4, Fox News noted that “some facilities may stay closed for longer depending on what officials learn in the coming days.”
Watch the FOX NEWS report
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