The Department of State issued a travel alert Friday, warning of al Qaeda and affiliated organizations planning potential terrorist attacks “particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula” between now and the end of August. It ordered at least 21 embassies and consulates to be closed on Sunday, with the possibility that they could remain closed beyond Sunday.
Several US officials said that chatter among al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operatives has increased in the last few days, according to CNN. A number of officials and lawmakers made the rounds on weekend news programs, emphasizing the seriousness of this particular warning.
One such lawmaker told FOX News the chatter was similar to that before 9/11.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, of Georgia, said Sunday the so-called “chatter” detected by U.S. intelligence agencies that led the Obama administration to order the closures and issue a global travel warning to Americans is “very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11.”
Sources told Fox News the chatter picked up by U.S. intelligence agents over the past two weeks exceeds anything in the last decade. And it included Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri demanding that key leaders of the terror network in the Arabian Peninsula step up their activities in the wake of recent killings of top terrorists.
Representative Peter King of NY echoed that sentiment in nearly the same words on CNN, saying the threat is “the most specific I’ve seen” since the attacks on the US on Sept. 11, 2001, according to Bloomberg News.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey told ABC’s This Week, “There is a significant threat stream and we’re reacting to it…The intent is to attack western, not just U.S. interests.”
Meanwhile, we’ve taken the extraordinary step of closing a multitude of embassies and consulates, al Qaeda’s leader Ayman al Zawahiri recently appointed the Yemeni leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Nasir al Wuhayshi as the global terror network’s new general manager, al Qaeda is reconstituting its power in places like Iraq, and Interpol has issued a global security alert after multiple prison escapes that are suspected to be linked to al Qaeda.
That seems to be quite a bit of activity for an organization on the run, on its heels, on the path to defeat and decimated.