ABC reported Thursday every U.S. embassy across the Muslim world will close Sunday, Aug. 4, due to a "new and mysterious security concern."
Senior U.S. officials told ABC there could be other targets besides embassies:
MARTHA RADDATZ: The threat is credible and serious. A senior U.S. official telling ABC News there is a "specific threat, a concerted effort against a U.S. embassy or consulate, we just don't know what the specific target is." Another U.S. official adding, "There could be other targets, not just embassies." Beginning Sunday, some of our biggest embassies will be closing, including Egypt, Iraq, and Kuwait. There has not been a mass closing of embassies and consulates due to an intelligence threat since the first anniversary of 9/11. Normally, an ambassador would make the determination, but this time it is Washington ordering the embassies to close down. And while the closures right now are just for Sunday, they could be extended for several days as U.S. intelligence works vigorously to get more specifics.
NBC also reported State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the U.S. has been "apprised of information that out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations" that indicated they should institute these precautionary measures:
A senior State Department official told NBC News that all embassies that are usually open in Sundays — primarily those in Muslim countries and Israel — would be closed Aug. 4 "out of an abundance of caution." Sunday is a normal workday in those countries.
The officials said the threat appeared to have originated somewhere in the Middle East and to be related to al-Qaeda. It was aimed at overseas diplomatic posts, not at facilities inside the U.S., they said.