WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — U.S. intelligence officials are dealing with the most credible terrorist threat in years as 19 diplomatic posts in the Middle East and Africa remain closed through this upcoming Saturday.
CBS News reports that a large-scale attack may be imminent as al-Qaeda terrorists in the Arabian Peninsula already have their orders and could be in place for execution of the alleged plot.
Juan Zarate, a CBS News security analyst, says this recent plot is similar to one from 2010 in which several European sites were targeted.
“People were worried about Mumbai-style attacks coming from the al-Qaeda core,” Zarate said, adding, “It never materialized but officials were worried that they actually had operatives in place. And, that’s a great concern here.”
The State Department said 19 diplomatic posts will remain closed through Saturday “out of an abundance of caution.” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the decision to keep the embassies and consulates closed is “not an indication of a new threat.”
Diplomatic facilities in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antananarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis are instructed to close for normal operations through Saturday, Aug. 10.