The State Department closed its missions in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, Sunday due to a significant threat from an al-Qaeda affiliate.
On the day that almost two dozen U.S. embassies and consulates across North Africa and the Middle East are closed following the identification of a significant threat from an al-Qaeda affiliate, a senior U.S. official is providing new details about the communications intercepted from the terrorists, telling ABC News that al-Qaeda operatives could be heard talking about an upcoming attack. The official described the terrorists as saying the planned attack is “going to be big” and “strategically significant.”
“The part that is alarming is the confidence they showed while communicating and the air of certainty,” the official said, adding that the group — Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — appeared to have a media plan for after the attack.
Authorities do not know the exact target of the planned attack, according to the official.
“We do not know whether they mean an embassy, an airbase, an aircraft, trains,” the official said.
Today on “This Week,” Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-MD — the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee — said the intercepted communications called for a “major attack.”
“We received information that high level people from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are talking about a major attack,” Ruppersberger said. “And these are people at a high level.”
Not that anyone with working brain cells ever believed Obama’s boast that al Qaeda was “on the run” – it would seem that the opposite is true – our ambassadors are the ones “on the run.”
Obama said nothing about the threats Friday and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney didn’t hold a press briefing.
White House Dossier’s Keith Koffler writes:
Before he finishes partying this weekend, the president or, at the very least, the White House, should give the American people some information about all this.
The “openness” White House is perfectly adept at not saying what it doesn’t want to say, so I don’t think any stray words will worsen a delicate situation. But the right to know, like other rights – for instance, the right of Congress to write the laws – does not seem to be a great concern to this imperious administration, even during times of danger.
How closely, one wonders, is Obama keeping tabs on what’s going on?
He’s been partying while his National Security Advisors meet, says Koffler.
Sixteen senior officials participated in the unusual gathering, according to the White House. Among them were National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who chaired the session, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
Obama was briefed after the session by Rice and Monaco, according to the White House. The White House said Obama has “received frequent briefings over the last week” on the threat.
Obama, whose birthday is today, was already celebrating at least a day early, playing golf in the morning with 11 longtime buddies and then traveling with them to Camp David, where the party continued. The president is scheduled to return to the White House today.
The owner of a survivor food company, MyPatriotSupply.com wrote on August 2013 that FEMA had contacted his company by email to buy up large stockpiles of food – “and they don’t want anyone to know it, and they want to take immediately delivery”, he said.
Could this be related to the terrorist threats?
Meanwhile – once again, Regime officials are leaking too many specifics about their intelligence which is putting our overseas informants in jeopardy.
On Saturday, unnamed U.S. officials told media outlets Yemeni intelligence agencies alerted Washington to the threat during the visit by the Yemeni president to Washington.
U.S. officials speaking on the condition of anonymity further told press representatives that “chatter” among “operatives” from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had been taking place over the last several weeks, and increased over the last few days, lending further credence to the Yemeni warning.
Intelligence officials are dismayed that the administration provided so much detail on what prompted the closings, and that the disclosures could work against obtaining new information. Militants are now likely searching for the sources of the information to both the U.S. and Yemeni officials, and almost certainly will kill anyone they suspect of working with Western intelligence.
“There simply are not that many who would know about the attacks,” says one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence officer, “so it won’t be hard for al Qaeda leaders to pin-point the sources of information. Once that happens, they certainly won’t be working with us anymore.”
Finally, via Gateway Pundit, here’s a “Happy Birthday Mr. President!” video from Egypt, where citizens who aren’t members or supporters of terrorist groups, actually can’t stand our President.