US Issues Global Travel Alert on Terrorist Threat

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 2 2013 12:40 PM

United States Issues Global Travel Alert, Warns of Potential Terrorist Attacks

embassy
The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel

State Department

The warning is so broad that it’s a little difficult to know what to do with it. But know this: If you’re traveling abroad between now and the end of August—especially to the Middle East and North Africa—you should be particularly careful about a potential terrorist attack, according to the State Department. "Current information suggests that al-Qaida 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 statement said, according to the Associated Press. The attacks are likely to come from, or take place in, the Arabian Peninsula.

The travel alert comes as the United States also announced it would close more than 20 embassies and other diplomatic facilities in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia this weekend as a “precautionary” step, according to Bloomberg News. Although the State Department didn’t specify what facilities would be affected, it makes sense it would include predominantly Muslim countries and Israel, where Sunday is a normal work day.

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"It's my understanding that it is al Qaida-linked, all right, and the threat emanates in the Middle East and in Central Asia," Rep. Ed Royce tells CNN. One official tells CNN the threat is “credible and serious.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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