Top White House officials meet in wake of al Qaeda threat

Last Updated: Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 13:35

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: Top notch officials of Obama administration met to discuss the potential terrorist threat that has led the US to issue a global travel alert and close 21 embassies and consulates around the world on Sunday.

The White House said in a statement that the meeting was led by national security adviser, Susan Rice and attended by major officials like the secretaries of state, defense and homeland security and the directors of the FBI, CIA and the National Security Agency. General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was also present at the crucial meeting held to consider the major threat.

President Barack Obama was briefed about the details of the threat and preparedness strategy, the White House added.

"Early this week, the president instructed his National Security team to take all appropriate steps to protect the American people in light of a potential threat occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula," the White House said in a statement.

The United States on Friday issued a worldwide travel alert warning Americans that al Qaeda may be planning attacks in August, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.

The State Department travel alert was based on the US intercepting Qaeda messages that prompted it to close 21 US embassies and consulates on Sunday, August 04, chiefly those in the Muslim world, a US official told a news agency on condition of anonymity.

Britain said it would close its embassy in Yemen on Sunday and Monday. "We are particularly concerned about the security situation in the final days of Ramadan and into Eid," the Foreign Office said in a statement, referring to the Muslim holy month which ends on Wednesday.

France also plans to close its embassy in Yemen on Sunday, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 09:33

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