US in worldwide travel alert

WASHINGTON - The US state department has said it is issuing a global travel alert because of an unspecified al-Qaeda threat.

In a statement, the department said the potential for an attack is particularly strong in the Middle East and North Africa.

The move comes shortly after the US announced the closure of embassies in the region on Sunday.

The alert expires on 31 August 2013, the department said. It recommended US citizens travelling abroad be vigilant.

"Current information suggests that al-Qa'ida 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.

An unnamed senior US official told NBC the threat may be related to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which ends next week.

Among the US embassies affected by the closures on Sunday are Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh.

In the Muslim world, Sunday is a work day. In other parts of the world US diplomatic offices are shut on Sunday.

"It is possible we may have additional days of closing as well," a senior state department official told the BBC earlier.

The official said the state department had "been apprised of information" leading it to take these "precautionary steps... out of an abundance of caution".

Last year on 11 September, the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked, leaving four Americans dead.

Other embassies are routinely targets of protesters.

Comments (2)

A word of humane advice to the US. The fight you call terror has its roots in your failure to acknowledge diversity of people, beliefs and values. The US regime is pitting itself against the people of Zimbabwe and provoking a fight. It is time for the administration to practice what it preaches and to respect humanity.

Mutongi Gava - 6 August 2013

You see, Americans` love of removing specks in other people`s eyes when in theirs are logs. They are now running scared all over the world. Very soon Chatunga will his newly given horns on them. They think they are wise when they are foolish with the riches they stole and are stealing from Africa, Asia.

Evangelist - 8 August 2013

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