Officials: Chatter Among Al Qaeda Operatives in Yemen Led to Warnings
Fresh intelligence led the United States to conclude that operatives of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula were in the final stages of planning an attack against U.S. and Western targets, several U.S. officials told CNN.
The warning led the U.S. State Department to issue a global travel alert Friday, warning al Qaeda may launch attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond in coming weeks. The U.S. government also was preparing to close 22 embassies and consulates in the region Sunday as a precaution.
The chatter among al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operatives had gone on for weeks but increased in the last few days, the officials said.
Taken together with a warning from Yemeni officials, the United States took the extraordinary step of shutting down embassies and issuing travel warnings, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.