The US temporarily closed certain embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa from 4 August 2013 to 10 August 2013 as a precaution after it intercepted al-Qaeda's serious threats in recent years to target its embassies. An instruction was passed to US embassies and consulates by the Department of State to remain closed or to suspend operations on 4 August 2013.
The United States initially closed 22 diplomatic posts for the day on 4 August 2013. The State Department last week issued a worldwide travel alert warning Americans that al-Qaeda may be planning attacks in August, particularly in the Middle East.
The State Department asserted that this was not an indication of a new threat stream, but merely an indication of US commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect its employees and visitors to its facilities.
The US missions in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antanarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis have been asked to close for normal operations from 5 August to 10 August 2013.
However, the posts in Dhaka, Algiers, Nouakchott, Kabul, Herat, Mazar el Sharif, Baghdad, Basrah and Erbil were closed on 4 August 2013 and are authorised to reopen for normal operations on 5 August 2013.