US officials have announced that they are closing a number of their Embassies abroad, mainly in the Middle East, on Sunday, due to an "al Qaeda" threat. Friday the US State department issued a worldwide travel warning to Americans. The travel alert has an expiry date of August 31, 2013, and American citizens are warned that the terrorist threat is strong in North Africa and the Middle East.
The threat is reported as "unspecified" but surely it must be real and present for them to act in such a way? Perhaps the administration learned valuable lessons with the incident often referred to as Benghazigate, in which four US embassy staff died.
In September 2012 the US Ambassador in Benghazi, Chris Stevens, was killed in an attack. He and three other Americans died when the American consulate was attacked. US Secretary of State, in 2012, Hillary Clinton, was questioned regarding the murder of these citizens. To this day some do not believe that the truth has been made public.
The attack happened on the anniversary of 9/11. British nationals in Libya were already playing a more cautious game, they still are. Clinton was accused of failing to protect the ambassador and the others who died with him. A request for improved security at the embassy compound was allegedly ignored.
The Business Insider reported, 'In March 2011 Stevens became the official U.S. liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan opposition, working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group—a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens' life.' An ironic and tragic set of circumstances.
This time the threat is being taken seriously. It may look a little convenient that such a threat is imminent when you consider the US administration and the NSA, National Security Agency, of America have been caught spying on citizens, albeit in the name of preventing terrorism. Is it a real threat or part of a cunning plan? We will probably never know.
Conspiracy theorists claim that officials in the USA were complicit in 9/11, the day that the Twin Towers in New York were targeted by terrorists, resulting in so many deaths. Conspiracy theorists often believe that governments will stop at nothing to achieve their mission, accepting the death of others along the way as just "collateral damage".
Initially the US embassies assessed as a possible target will close on Sunday August 4, for one day. They may however remain closed for a longer period. In the Muslim world Sunday is a normal work day as that religion's day of prayers is a Friday. In the west many shops and most offices and other places of work tend to close on a Sunday, however embassies are a different matter.
According to a BBC News report: "CBS News reported that among those affected by closure would be the embassies or consulates in Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Bangladesh". A total of 21 embassies and consulates in 18 countries.
As for the threat to American citizens travelling abroad -- again the BBC reports, "Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said the threat was "not the regular chit chat" picked up from would-be militants on the internet or elsewhere. "The most important thing we have to do is protect American lives," he told the Associated Press news agency".
Check out the current warning here