US embassies to shut on Sunday over 'security threat'

State department spokeswoman Marie Harf: "It is possible we may have additional days of closing"

Related Stories

The US will close a number of embassies and consulates, mostly in the Middle East, on Sunday in response to an unspecified threat, officials say.

A state department spokeswoman said the order applied to any embassy or consulate normally open on Sunday.

In the Muslim world, Sunday is a work day. In other parts of the world US diplomatic offices are shut on Sunday.

Last year on 11 September, the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked, leaving four Americans dead.

Other embassies are routinely targets of protesters.

"We have instructed all US embassies and consulates that would have normally been open on Sunday to suspend operations, specifically on August 4th," a senior state department official told the BBC.

"It is possible we may have additional days of closing as well."

The official said the state department had "been apprised of information" leading it to these "precautionary steps... out of an abundance of caution".

US Representative Ed Rogers, chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, told CNN the threat was related to al-Qaeda.

"It's my understanding that it is al Qaeda-linked, all right, and the threat emanates in the Middle East and in Central Asia," Mr Royce said.

An unnamed US official earlier told the broadcaster the threat was "credible and serious".

CBS News reported that among those affected by closure would be the embassies or consulates in Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Last year, the attack on the facility in Benghazi led to the deaths of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, as well as three other US consulate staff.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    The best news photographs from around the world


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Joe Ierardi playing a pianoClick Watch

    Meet the man trying to create the perfect digital piano - but is it as good as the real thing?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.