U.S. Closes Middle East Embassies on Sunday Due to Al Qaeda Threat

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John Kerry speaks at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

Today in ominous national security news, the United States announced that all of its embassies in the Middle East and Asia will be closed on Sunday due to a possible Al Qaeda threat. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said U.S. has been "apprised of information that out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations, indicates we should institute these precautionary steps." The State Department wouldn't say much more about the threat, but according to CBS News, officials say there appears to be a real plot in the works, not just talk among terrorists about attacks they'd like to carry out.

Sunday is the start of the work week in many of those countries, and Harf said the closings could be extended "depending on our analysis." A senior State Department official told NBC News that the threat appears to be related to Ramadan, which ends Wednesday. On Sunday, President Obama will celebrate his 52nd birthday and Iran will inaugurate a new president, but the official said they don't believe those events have anything to do with the threat — or at least they didn't, until the media speculated on why August 4 is an opportune date.