Some U.S. Embassies Will Remain Closed Through August 10th

The closure of American embassies across the Middle East in response to apparent terror threats is being extended:

(Reuters) – The United States extended the closures of some embassies and consulates in the Middle East – which had been closed Sunday due to an al Qaeda threat – through August 10 due to caution but not the emergence of any new threat, the State Department said.

Other U.S. diplomatic posts, including in Kabul, Baghdad and Algiers, that had been closed on Sunday, will reopen on Monday, the State Department said.

Posts in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antanarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis will be closed through Saturday.

There’s still no word on what exactly the nature of the intelligence that led to the initial decision to close embassies today might be, of course.

FILED UNDER: Doug Mataconis, Intelligence, National Security, Quick Picks, Terrorism
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. There actually is no security threat. This is just the thing the State Department could come up with to justify closing all the embassies because of the Sequester cuts.




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  2. anjin-san says:

    It will be interesting to see how the right spins this into an attack on Obama.




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  3. James Joyner says:

    @anjin-san: I’m not going to criticize the administration given how little information we have and the no-win situation that serious intel puts them in. But, man, I don’t like this. It just sends a signal that we’re weak and cowering in fear.




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  4. Andre Kenji says:

    There is also no relation between these countries. I´ve never heard of Al Qaeda in Mauritius, in Burundi or in Madagascar.




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  5. Matt Bernius says:

    @James Joyner:
    When the “loyal opposition” is going to Benghazi!!! you every time something happens (and with that manage to torpedo your nominations to a key cabinet positions), such overreactions are understandable. Otherwise you constantly end up fighting the war on two fronts.




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  6. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    It just sends a signal that we’re weak and cowering in fear.

    Aren’t we?




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  7. anjin-san says:

    But, man, I don’t like this. It just sends a signal that we’re weak and cowering in fear.

    Well, if the GOP still remembered that they are Americans first and Republicans second, things might be different. But their priority is trying to bring the President down, not keep America strong.

    Your a good guy James, all of us know it. But you are also part of the problem. We judge people by who they choose to associate with. You’ve chosen to associate with Issa and the other loons.




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  8. al-Ameda says:

    I’m sure that Darrell Issa is going to investigate this. I mean, there must be some kind of appeasement going on here, right?




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  9. bill says:

    “al Qaeda is on the run….” so it must be some other group that we’re to fear now. weak.




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  10. C. Clavin says:

    “…But, man, I don’t like this. It just sends a signal that we’re weak and cowering in fear…”

    Interesting view.
    I thought cancelling the football games after 9.11 was cowardly.
    On the otherhand I think this is prudent. Staffing embassies when you know something is afoot is stupid. Ask Regan if he would have taken those guys out of the barracks in Beirut had he been warned.
    The problem with Bush and 9.11 is he failed to do anything. Was that bravado…or idiocy?
    Standing down where you know there is a threat…and attacking the heart of that threat works for me. Hopefully the intel will allow for a drone-fired missile up the arse of someone or other.




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  11. C. Clavin says:

    “…“al Qaeda is on the run….” so it must be some other group that we’re to fear now. weak…”

    Amazing that you have absolutely no hesitency to show your idiocy.
    Instead of posting stupid comments you should read some military history and learn about the danger of enemies on the run. Start with Sun-Tzu (easy reading that someone like you may be able to struggle through) who said;

    “…Do not press a desperate foe too hard…”




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  12. Mikey says:

    There will be no actual attack. These guys have figured out they can obtain the desired effect with mere threats. They created a bunch of “chatter” and are now sitting back sipping tea and smoking shisha while they marvel at how they shut down 21 embassies just by talking.




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  13. edmondo says:

    I guess the next step will be a bipartisan effort to exempt all MIC spending from the sequester cuts?

    I suppose the only way we can get the Meals on Wheels money returned to the budget is if we say we want to use it to armor plate the delivery vehicles.




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  14. C. Clavin says:

    “…the only way we can get the Meals on Wheels money returned to the budget…”

    The question is; why would you want to? Over 5 million seniors, about 12%, experience some form of food insecurity. Federal funding for Meals on Wheels and related services amount to a whopping .02% of the budget.
    What do you have against the elderly? You want to eliminate Medicare too. And SS.
    Seriously…you Republicans are f’ing heartless…but out of the other side of your mouth you are constantly ranting about being Christians. You don’t even understand what the word means.
    Honestly…the entire GOP consists of the nations most disgusting humans.




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  15. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    “al Qaeda is on the run….” so it must be some other group that we’re to fear now. weak.

    Did you sleep through history in high school? Even an enemy that is on the run can sting you. Look up “Battle of the Bulge” if you are completely ignorant of history, which is what it sounds like.




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  16. Todd says:

    There’s still no word on what exactly the nature of the intelligence that led to the initial decision to close embassies today might be, of course.

    Let’s hope it stays that way. YOU (or me for that matter) have no need to know the “exact nature of the intelligence”. Just as with the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, the proper place for disclosure and questioning about this sort of topic is in a closed/classified briefing to one or both of the congressional intelligence committees.




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  17. edmondo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Once again, reading comprehension really isn’t your strong point, is it. I was arguing for the restoration of that money. Try reading again reallllll sloooowwww. None of us care if your lips move.




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  18. dazedandconfused says:

    @James Joyner:

    I have a hard time blaming State for going CYA myself. If things like Benghazi are going to be used for political fodder their job becomes all but impossible. I wonder sometimes if we have have de-evolved to the point where we simply can’t be a major player anymore. Anyway, embassy’s are inappropriate in places where their very presence is offensive to a nations people.

    A straw to grasp: It accidentally send a message there is a limit to our tolerance for attacks on our embassy’s. They either clean up their “zoo fraternity’s”, or we may have the “courage” to remove them.




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  19. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: i’m quoting dear leader from last years sermon/campaign. irony/sarcasm is lost on you.
    we’re all glad you can read just as we’re not shocked that al-qaida hasn’t dissolved under obamas shrewd leadership….




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  20. bill says:

    @anjin-san: awesome, so you think maybe our leader read any of these? note that there’s been 2 huge jailbreaks in the past month- all freeing our sheethead enemies. and how did 500 get out of an iraqi jail…..aside from because we aren’t there anymore? yes, running away from a ragtag bunch of religious freaks- classy.




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  21. An Interested Party says:

    note that there’s been 2 huge jailbreaks in the past month- all freeing our sheethead enemies. and how did 500 get out of an iraqi jail…..aside from because we aren’t there anymore? yes, running away from a ragtag bunch of religious freaks- classy.

    Oh, so perhaps you’re volunteering to be part of a group of troops who will stay in Iraq? I’m sure the “sheetheads” will shake in fear of you…




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  22. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    aside from because we aren’t there anymore?

    Why don’t you head over there and straighten them out, stud? Oh wait, talking tough on a blog is one thing, putting your own butt on the line, another. Sorry.

    sheethead

    Third racist remark I have seen from you recently. Ignorant, and a bigot.

    Loser.




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  23. anjin-san says:

    obamas shrewd leadership….

    Seen Bin Laden lately?




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  24. C. Clavin says:

    “…I was arguing for the restoration of that money…”

    Right, you are…my bad.




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  25. C. Clavin says:

    “…note that there’s been 2 huge jailbreaks in the past month- all freeing our sheethead enemies. and how did 500 get out of an iraqi jail…..aside from because we aren’t there anymore?…”

    You thought invading and occupying Iraq was a genius idea…why don’t you go guard the jails?
    It’s just another measure of the failure that is Iraq.
    Biggest foreign policy blunder ever…and yes…the argument can be made that it was bigger than Vietnam.




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  26. Todd says:

    @James Joyner:

    But, man, I don’t like this. It just sends a signal that we’re weak and cowering in fear.

    I’ve been saying for a long time now that al Qaeda has already “won” even if they never kill another American. We changed. We let ourselves be terrorized.

    … and it has nothing to do with not killing enough of them.

    The next time you stand in line at the airport, take your laptop out of it’s case, and put your shoes in a separate bin, there’s really no other thought you can have than: “they won”.




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  27. dazedandconfused says:

    @Todd:

    I get your point, but would point out “they won because they affected us” incorporates the idea of “terror” being more than a tactic, the goal rather than the means to an end. It accepts the notion there can be a “War on Terror”, does it not?




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  28. Todd says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    I’d say it can be both a tactic and a goal.

    As for the “war on terror” …

    Obviously it’s possible (and arguably situationally “effective”) to prosecute a war on terrorists.

    But honestly, the only way to “win” against the concept of terror is to not act f’ing terrorized.




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  29. Mikey says:

    @dazedandconfused: I was going to say the same thing, but you beat me to it. The goal of terrorism is generally accepted as forcing changes in the political realm, and the stated aims of al Qaeda–driving American influence out of Muslim nations, eliminating Israel, and erecting a worldwide caliphate–fit this definition. Scaring people and inconveniencing them at the airport do not, because the terror is not an end in itself, but a means to an end.

    Which is why I think “taking off your shoes at the airport means the terrorists have won” is wrong. They haven’t won because they haven’t achieved the political goals their terrorism is intended to achieve. Closing 21 embassies for a week is a bit closer, but they’ll re-open.




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  30. dazedandconfused says:

    Todd,

    With respect, I wouldn’t label taking precautions and acknowledge threats as being “terrorized”, I’d much rather label “not thinking” being as “terrorized”.

    Case in point: OBL’s goal was to draw us into a long, expensive war in the ME to sap our strength, the way he thought was had done to the Soviets.

    Humans are tricky critters. Even Charles Manson had a real goal, starting a race war, and he really was a psychotic. The point is, both Charles and OBL counted on reflexive bloody-mindedness, which is why I suspect my definition of being “terrorized” is a wiser one to hold.




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  31. Todd says:

    @Mikey:

    Which is why I think “taking off your shoes at the airport means the terrorists have won” is wrong. They haven’t won because they haven’t achieved the political goals their terrorism is intended to achieve. Closing 21 embassies for a week is a bit closer, but they’ll re-open.

    A very fair point.




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  32. Mikey says:

    @Todd:

    A very fair point.

    Thanks. And your point that terror can be both a means and an end got me thinking: is terrorism, or terror, ever merely an end rather than a means in the modern world? I suppose it could be–there could be people who hold such hatred for another people or group that they simply want to inflict as much bloody, screaming fear on them as possible, without any political goal in mind. A kind of multi-handed Freddy Krueger, if you will.

    Does such a group exist in the world today? I can’t think of one, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.




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  33. bill says:

    @anjin-san: you guys kill me, the logic is that perverse.
    @C. Clavin: see above, and remember who voted FOR the war……want another list? well you can take 5 seconds and google it. here’s a search title “democrats who voted for the iraqi war”- you’re welcome.




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  34. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mikey:

    I feel it has been something of a PC term for the culture that we feel threatened by in the region. Witness the hand-wringing over whether or not Obama properly labeled, or even committed the sin of not labeling fast enough, the attack in Benghazi.




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