Rep. Peter King says the threat of an al-Qaida attack this weekend somewhere in the world was "the most specific I've seen" since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.
"I don't think I'm giving anything away when you look at the reaction when you see that 21 embassies are being closed," King, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN on Friday. "It shows how seriously our government is taking it – and I give them credit. I think the government is doing exactly the right thing.
"There's very little doubt that something serious is being planned," King added. "It's a potential series of attacks. It could be anywhere."
The United States issued an extraordinary global travel warning to Americans earlier Friday about the threat of an al-Qaida attack and closed 21 embassies and consulates across the Muslim world for the weekend.
The alert was the first since an announcement preceding the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Related: Threat Forces Prompts Travel Warning, Embassy Closures
It follows last year's deadly Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, and comes as the Obama administration and Congress work to prevent any similar breach of an American Embassy or consulate.
"There is a significant threat stream and we're reacting to it," Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told ABC News in an interview to be aired on Sunday.
He said that the threat was "more specific" than previous ones and the "intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests."
King told CNN that the information concerned an al-Qaida operation working out of the Arabian Peninsula and that "this has been developing for a while."
The data is strong, he said, because of its sources "and based on the extent of the damage that appears that they want to cause – the carnage they want to cause – with the attack.
"This is being taken very, very seriously," he added. "Not just trying to connect the dots, but it is very specific information about the fact that there is a plot and that the attacks are planned. It's not certain as to where.
"You can't rule anything out," King said. "I don't want to panic anyone – but because of the dimensions of this, we have to say that nothing can be excluded."
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