In the wake of intercepted messages among Al Qaeda operatives, 22 U.S. embassies across the Middle East and North Africa were closed on Sunday. The closures, as of the announcement on Friday, were expected to last for one day only.
Now, following further warnings, CNN is reporting that the embassies may remain closed for several more days. On Sunday afternoon, the State Department said it had extended embassy and consulate closures in 15 of the locations until Friday and added four other posts to the list. The State Department also issued a U.S. global travel alert.
While this protective move is reportedly unprecedented in terms of its scope, Britain, France and Germany have also closed their embassies in Yemen. No word yet on when those embassies would reopen.
According to CNN, the following U.S. posts will be closed through Friday:
- U.S. Embassy Manama, Bahrain
- U.S. Embassy Bujumbura, Burundi
- U.S. Embassy Djibouti, Djibouti
- U.S. Embassy Cairo, Egypt
- U.S. Embassy Amman, Jordan
- U.S. Embassy Kuwait City, Kuwait
- U.S. Embassy Tripoli, Libya
- U.S. Embassy Antananarivo, Madagascar
- U.S. Embassy Port Louis, Mauritius
- U.S. Embassy Muscat, Oman
- U.S. Embassy Doha, Qatar
- U.S. Embassy Kigali, Rwanda
- U.S. Consulate Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
- U.S. Consulate Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- U.S. Embassy Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- U.S. Embassy Khartoum, Sudan
- U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- U.S. Consulate Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- U.S. Embassy Sanaa, Yemen
On its website, the U.S. Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens register their travel plans with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration website and get updates at travel.state.gov. Travelers can also get information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, from other countries, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, Eastern Time (except U.S. federal holidays).