A barrier blocks people from getting to the U-S Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. It is one of 22 American embassies and consulates across the Muslim world that won’t open Sunday because of a possible terror threat. American allies including Britain are also taking precautions by shutting down embassies in Yemen.
U.S. intelligence has said U.S. or Western interests in Yemen or other countries in the Middle East and North Africa could be the target. The threat is linked to Al Qaida or one of its affiliates including Al Qaida in the Arabian peninsula.
“The problem for us officials is they don’t have specificity with respect to where they hit or timing,” said CBS consultant Juane Zarate. “They are taking general precautions of a type that you rarely see.”
There is also a global travel-alert in affect through the end of the month. Officials are warning American travelers heading overseas to take extra precautions especially on public transportation systems and at tourists locations.
Gehad Saber is traveling with her father from New York to Alexandria, Egypt to visit family. They’re aware of the threat but aren’t changing their plans.
“Hope that everything will be safe as long as we go by the rules,” said Saber. “We stay out of the trouble, I think we’ll be fine.”
Senior administration officials said President Obama is getting regular briefings about the situation and has advised his national security team to take all steps to protect Americans.