Al-Qaeda Threat Cited by U.S. in Issuing Global Travel Alert

August 3, 2013

The U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel alert warning citizens of potential terror attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia by al-Qaeda or its affiliates.

“Current information suggests that al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” the department said yesterday. The U.S. will close 21 embassies and consulates in those regions this weekend as a precaution.

The information includes communications among known terrorists intercepted by the National Security Agency in the past 10 days, according to two U.S. officials who asked not to be identified discussing classified intelligence matters. They declined to offer specifics on the exchanges, although they called the content credible and disturbing.

The primary focus is on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a terrorist group based in Yemen and a remote part of Saudi Arabia, according to Representative Peter King and the two U.S. officials. Read more