U.S. embassies in 21 Muslim countries remain closed for the week
In case you missed it heading into this past weekend, US intelligence intercepted and acted upon some “specific and credible” threats against US embassies in the “Islamic world.” Based on the data, multiple US embassies were closed and will remain closed for the duration of this week.
Report from McClatchy:
The closing of U.S. embassies in 21 predominantly Muslim countries and a broad caution about travel during August that the State Department issued on Friday touched off debate Sunday over the National Security Agency’s sweeping data collection programs.
Congressional supporters of the program, appearing on Sunday morning talk shows, said the latest rounds of warnings of unspecified threats showed that the programs were necessary, while detractors said there was no evidence linking the programs, particularly the massive collection of cell phone records of hundreds of millions of Americans, to the vague warnings of a possible terrorist attack.
Meanwhile, there were no reports of violence or unusual activity in any of the countries where the United States had kept its embassies and consulates closed when they would have ordinarily been open on Sunday. Nevertheless, the State Department announced that embassies and consulates in 16 countries would remain closed throughout the week, including four African nations that had not been on the original list. Diplomatic posts in five other countries would reopen Monday, the State Department said, including those in Afghanistan and Iraq, where terrorist attacks have been frequent.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the extended closures were “not an indication of a new threat stream.”
There are numerous surrounding issues regarding these threats and the way our government has reacted this time around. The attack on our consulate in Benghazi is still fresh in the minds of many Americans.