The U.S. State Department will reopen 18 embassies and consulates on Aug. 11 that had been closed this week because of a terrorist threat, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said today in a statement.
The embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, “will remain closed because of ongoing concerns about a threat stream indicating the potential for terrorist attacks emanating from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” Psaki said. The U.S. consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, which was shut yesterday because of a separate terrorist threat, will also stay closed, she said.
The U.S. had shut almost two dozen embassies and consulates from West Africa to South Asia on Aug. 4 and issued a worldwide travel alert in response to concerns that al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based branch, known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was planning an attack.
Most of the Lahore consulate’s staff were evacuated yesterday, the State Department has said.
“We will continue to evaluate the threats to Sana’a and Lahore and make subsequent decisions about the reopening of those facilities based on that information,” Psaki said.
The mission closings across much of the Muslim world were prompted by the intercept of communications between Ayman al- Zawahiri, the chief of al-Qaeda, and the head of the organization’s Yemen branch, Nasir al-Wuhayshi. The State Department has urged Americans to leave Yemen.
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