If al Qaeda was on its heels, as President Obama boasted back before the anniversary attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, it was obviously just for the purposes of regrouping.
According to the Associated Press via the Chicago Tribune, the U.S. State Department “issued a worldwide travel alert on Friday warning Americans that al Qaeda may be planning attacks in August, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.”
The alert was based on the same intelligence that prompted the State Department on Thursday to announce the closure of 21 U.S. embassies or consulates this Sunday, chiefly those in the Muslim world. Earlier today, that list was amplified to include the embassies in the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
In a statement this afternoon, Department officials said:
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The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.
Current information suggests that al Qaeda 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.
Among the most prominent of al Qaeda’s affiliates is Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a Yemen-based group whose attempted attacks included the Christmas Day 2009 attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
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