The State Department has announced that it will keep 19 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa closed throughout the week “out of an abundance of caution” in the wake of terror threats that shut them down.
Posts in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antanarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali and Port Louis have been instructed to close for normal operations from Monday through Saturday, department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
The State Department also said some of those embassies were already going to be closed in accordance with local customs marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Those authorized to reopen Monday are in Dhaka, Algiers, Nouakchott, Kabul, Herat, Mazar el Sharif, Baghdad, Basrah and Erbil.
Capitol Hill lawmakers, including top-ranking members of intelligence committees, on Sunday described the terror threat that closed 22 U.S. embassies and consulates across the Muslim region as the most serious one since before the 9/11 attacks and related to specific act or plot.
Florida Republican Rep. Tom Rooney, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News that U.S. intelligence agents detected a “very specific” threat and suggested they have known about it for at least several weeks.
He was among several congressional lawmakers Sunday who said the threat was gleaned from so-called “chatter” from phone lines, computer outlets, websites and other communication outlets.
Rooney also said the information is not what intelligence committee members “see on our regular briefings.”
The Obama administration’s decision Friday to close the U.S. outposts Sunday came the same day as the State Department issued a worldwide travel alert.
Rooney suggested Sunday the travel warning will not be lifted soon.
Read more: foxnews.com