And the U.S. consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, remains closed to the public since non-emergency personnel were evacuated on Aug. 9. That threat was unrelated to an al Qaeda-linked threat that prompted the closing of 19 embassies and consulates five days earlier.
Tom McDonald, a former U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, said terrorist groups such as al Qaeda like anniversary strikes because of their “spectacular nature.” But he said closing embassies would be a “real over-reaction” in the absence of a direct threat.
“We should be terribly prudent,” said McDonald, who now heads the government policy practice at law firm BakerHostetler in Washington. “But as a matter of policy, America can't retreat.”
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