Friday, August 2, 2013
Few details have emerged about the U.S. plan to shut down embassies that would normally be open this Sunday. A senior State Department official says that the U.S. facilities may be closed for more days, as well. The closures are being described as "precautionary steps" that are being taken "out of an abundance of caution."
The official says the agency "instructed all U.S. Embassies and Consulates that would have normally been open on Sunday to suspend operations, specifically on Aug. 4," as The Two-Way reported Thursday.
Update at 11:50 a.m. ET: List Of Embassies Posted
In response to the many requests for a list of the temporarily closed outposts, the State Department has put a list online. The locations range from Egypt and Jordan to Yemen and Libya. We'll add it to the bottom of this post.
Update at 4:44 p.m. ET. British Embassy Will Close:
Following the United States' footsteps, Britain announced it would close its embassy in Sanaa, Yemen on Sunday and Monday.
The BBC reports the Foreign Office said it was doing so in "response to a specific threat."
Our original post continues:
U.S. diplomatic offices are usually open in Muslim countries, where Sunday is the start of the workweek. The closures will take place in nations from the Middle East to Africa and Asia.
According to CBS News, the closures are the result of U.S. intelligence seeing "signs of an al Qaeda plot against American diplomatic posts in the Middle East and other Muslim countries." A specific location or possible target has not been reported.
Citing two U.S. officials, CNN reports that analysts believe "tensions are rising with the approach of both the holy days at the end of Ramadan and the one year anniversary of the September 11th attack on the US compound in Benghazi."
The holy month of Ramadan ends on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
The State Department's list of diplomatic outposts that will be closed on Sunday, Aug. 4:
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.