State Department issues updated terror alert

While the alert stops short of closing embassies and consulates like the department ordered in early August, it warns Americans overseas to remain vigilant. 

“Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida, its affiliated organizations, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East,” the alert says. 

Intelligence and concerns about terror groups in the four regions are detailed in the alert. All say current information suggests al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations continue to plot attacks against Americans. 

“These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings,” the alert said.

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This replaces the same type of alert issued in February this year. U.S. embassies and consulates were required to close or suspend their operations from Aug. 4 through Aug. 10 because of security concerns. 

Travel warnings are almost always in place at the State Department. Three were recently updated for Turkey, Lebanon and Pakistan. 

The updated alert follows Saturday’s deadly terrorist attack at an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 60 people were shot dead by militants of al-Shabab, an al Qaeda-linked Somali group that claimed responsibility. 

No Americans are believed to have died in the attack, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation is on the ground assessing whether Americans were among the perpetrators.