Embassies Closed

Embassies Closed
Monday, August 5, 2013 - 6:54am

Several embassies in the Middle East and Africa have closed following intelligence reports indicating that terrorists may be planning attacks. Tracie Potts reports.

Nineteen American embassies and consulates around the world remain closed today due to a terror threat.

Plus, Americans travelling abroad are being told to be especially careful around public transit. They've also been warned that they'll find embassies in many countries closed.

19 posts across Africa and the Middle East are closed today through Saturday --

15 extended from the weekend, plus four new ones while nine re-open today.

Several were closed anyway part of this week for the end of Ramadan - but after the deadly attacks in Libya, the U.S. is taking no chances. "We've learned from Benghazi, thank God, and the administration is doing this right," said Senator Lindsey Graham, (R) South Carolina.

"We're attempting to prepare ourselves to protect Americans. That's the bottom line," said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, (D) Maryland.

The closures come after the U.S. picked up on chatter suggesting a large attack - or coordinated smaller attacks - may be imminent. "This is probably one of the most specific and credible threats I've seen perhaps since 9/11. And that's why everybody is taking this so seriously," said Rep. Michael McCaul, (R) Texas.

There's also a warning out now through August 31 for Americans traveling abroad. Officials think this threat comes from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen. "This is a wake-up call. Al Qaeda is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11," said Rep. Peter King, (R) New York.

After the death of a top al Qaeda deputy in a drone strike last month, officials fear terrorists may be capable, and motivated.

There's no indication of an attack on U.S. soil but New York has beefed up security and police in Washington D.C., especially around the capitol, have been told to be on alert.

Tracie Potts, NBC News.

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