THREAT ON U.S CONTINGENTS IN THE MUSLIM WORLD
Two days after Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri distributed through the web an audio message and said the group would spare no effort to free the remaining Guantanamo inmates (see – Audio 07.31.13), The USA issued, on Friday 08/02/2013, a worldwide alert warning of plans by Al Qaeda to launch an attack in the Middle East or North Africa (Maghreb) in August, just a day after it announced that it would shutter 21 U.S embassies across the Muslim world, including Israel, this weekend.
The State Department said attacks were possible “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,” the State Department said in a worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens.
The alert warned of “the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.”
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said earlier that the United States would close a number of embassies and consulates on Sunday, a work day in much of the Islamic world. She added that some embassies or consulates could decide to remain closed beyond Sunday.
The Arabian Peninsula is the historic substrate of Al Qaeda, founded by Saudi-born extremist Osama Bin Laden who was killed in a U.S. strike in Pakistan in 2011 (see – Abbottabad Raid).
The United States has been especially cautious about security since an attack on its consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 last year (see – AQ-Benghazi Raid).
The Al Qaeda threat that prompted the State Department to issue a worldwide travel alert and close down 21 embassies and consulates for the weekend is serious and ‘very specific,’ Rep. Peter King, chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence in the Congress, said Friday.
“There is a significant threat stream and we’re reacting to it,” said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He told ABC News in an interview to be aired Sunday that the threat was “more specific” than previous ones and the “intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests.”
U.S. officials said the threat was tied to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Terrorism experts said the plot may be a response to the killing of Abu Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shihri (see – Ex-Gitmo footage), the deputy leader of al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, whose death was confirmed by the group last month.
“Al-Qaeda affiliates across North Africa and the Middle East are much stronger than they were a year ago,” said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University. Hoffman cited two recent prison breaks carried out by al-Qaeda affiliates in Libya and Iraq as evidence that “they have access to heavy weaponry [and] can stage much more consequential attacks.”
Nasser al-Wehaishi made the pledge to Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri on 07/29/2013. The President added that two cars, each carrying 7 tonnes of explosives, were later identified in Yemen by security forces.
The first, intended to attack the Mina al-Dhabba oil terminal in Southeast Yemen, was destroyed. The second car was headed for the capital Sanaa and is still unaccounted for, though Hadi said authorities had arrested the cell which was in charge of smuggling it into the city.
12/2009 -CHRISTMAS TERROR PLOT – FLIGHT 253