WASHINGTON -- The United States will close several embassies and consulates Sunday as a "precautionary" step because of unspecified security concerns, a State Department official said Thursday.
"The Department of State has instructed certain U.S. embassies and consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday, August 4th," said Marie Harf, the department's deputy spokeswoman. Ms. Harf didn't say which diplomatic facilities would be closed, how many, where they are located or the threats.
A State Department official, who asked not to be identified because of the matter's sensitivity, said the embassies and consulates that have been told to close are ones normally open on Sundays. That would include the embassies in the Muslim world, where the work week generally is from Sunday to Thursday.
The State Department issued a similar alert on potential attacks on or about Sept. 11, 2012, and Ms. Harf cited a February 2013 State Department "Worldwide Caution," warning U.S. citizens that "current information suggests that al-Qaida, its affiliated organizations and other terrorist organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions."
The caution said security threat levels remain high in Yemen, and that Iraq is "dangerous and unpredictable."