The State Department will close a number of U.S. embassies and consulates on Sunday due to "more than the usual chatter" about a potential terrorist threat.
A senior U.S. official said that although the threat does not have a great deal of specificity about time and location, it is being taken "very seriously."
U.S. "interests" including military installations could also see additional security and protection measures. The official, and a second official as well, noted that tensions are rising with the approach of both the holy days at the end of Ramadan and the first anniversary of the September 11 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Several hundred Marines in Spain, Italy and in the Red Sea could provide additional security for U.S. embassies in southern Europe, North Africa or the Middle East if requested by the State Department.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf revealed the closings but gave no details as to the locations of the affected embassies or the nature of the threat.
"The Department of State has instructed certain U.S. embassies and consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday, August 4. The department has been apprised of information that out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installation, that indicates we should institute these precautionary steps. The department, when conditions warrant, takes steps like this to balance our continued operations with security and safety," Harf said.FULL STORY