U.S. Extends Embassy Closings Throughout Middle East

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U.S. embassies throughout the Middle East and North Africa are remaining closed through at least Saturday, thanks to concern over threats from terrorist group, Al Qaeda.

The list of extended closings includes some new additions, mostly in Africa. Posts in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antananarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis will be shutdown until at least Aug. 10.

Previously closed embassies in other parts of the Middle East including Kabul and Baghdad will reopen for business Monday.

The extension of the closings isn't necessarily because of a new or more imminent threat. Many of the embassies would've been shut down for an upcoming Muslim holiday anyway.

"Given that a number of our embassies and consulates were going to be closed for the bulk of the week for the Eid celebration at the end of Ramadan, and out of an abundance of caution, we've decided to extend the closure of several embassies and consulates including a small number of additional posts," a release from the Department of State stated.

Originally, several U.S. embassies were shutdown for the weekend due to concern over an Al Qaeda plan to attack American and U.S. diplomatic posts.

Not much is widely known about the nature of this particular threat. According to the State Department, the potential attack is being spearheaded by one of Al Qaeda's most dangerous affiliates in Yemen, and has been planned for specific dates. The warning also noted that terrorist leaders called for an increase in terrorist activity.

A worldwide travel alert will remain in effect until August 31.

Photo Credit Ryan Lackey