Quantcast
Latest Stories

US to reopen 18 diplomatic missions after threat


A policeman on an armored vehicle secures a street leading to the US embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. AP

WASHINGTON—Eighteen of the 19 US embassies and consulates that were closed in the Middle East and Africa because of a terrorist threat will reopen on Sunday, the State Department said.

The US Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, will remain closed. The US Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, which was closed Thursday because of what officials say was a separate credible threat, also was not scheduled to reopen.

In the statement, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not cite a reason for the decision to reopen the 18 missions. She cited “ongoing concerns about a threat stream indicating the potential for terrorist attacks emanating from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” or AQAP, for keeping the embassy in Sanaa closed.

“We will continue to evaluate the threats to Sanaa and Lahore and make subsequent decisions about the reopening of those facilities based on that information,” Psaki said.

The 19 outposts were closed to the public beginning last Sunday. Most American employees at the US Embassy in Yemen were ordered to leave the country on Tuesday because of threat information.

An intercepted message between al-Qaida officials about plans for a major terror attack triggered the 19 closures.

The State Department issued a travel warning Thursday night regarding Pakistan, saying the presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups posed a potential danger to US citizens throughout the country. At the same time officials ordered nonessential government personnel to leave the US Consulate in Lahore.

In an appearance Tuesday on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” Obama said the terror threat was “significant enough that we’re taking every precaution.”

However, closing embassies and consulates called into question Obama’s assertion last spring that al-Qaida’s headquarters was “a shadow of its former self” and his administration’s characterization of the terror network’s leadership as “severely diminished” and “decimated.” On Friday, the president noted that he was referring to “core al-Qaida” and that “what I also said was that al-Qaida and other extremists have metastasized into regional groups that can pose significant dangers.”

“So it’s entirely consistent to say that this tightly organized and relatively centralized al-Qaida that attacked us on 9/11 has been broken apart and is very weak and does not have a lot of operational capacity, and to say we still have these regional organizations like AQAP that can pose a threat, that can drive potentially a truck bomb into an embassy wall and can kill some people,” he said.

Shutting down so many US missions also raised the thorny issue of security, a political problem for the administration since the deadly assault last September on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya. The deaths of the American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans brought criticism over the lack of security and whether the administration had been forthright about the perpetrators.

The closings covered embassies and other posts stretching 4,800 miles from Tripoli, Libya, to Port Louis, Mauritius, and were not limited to Muslim or Muslim-majority nations.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Africa , Consulate , Diplomatic Mission , embassy , Middle East , Security , Terrorism , US




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  3. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  9. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Flash floods hit 9 Tagum villages
  • No tsunami to hit PH after 6.9 quake jolts Solomon Islands–Phivolcs
  • Search resumes for bodies in Everest avalanche
  • 6.6-quake hits off PNG’s Bougainville – USGS
  • Bus passengers foil bombing in Sultan Kudarat
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement