Saturday, August 3, 2013

Breaking: White House Holds High Level Meeting over 'Serious' Al Qaeda Threat






8/3/13 - Terrorists May Use Variety of Means and Weapons --- (FoxNews) Top U.S. officials met Saturday to review the Al Qaeda threat that prompted the State Department to issue a worldwide travel alert and close down 22 embassies and consulates for the weekend, a threat that has been described by Rep. Peter King as "very specific." The meeting, that took place on Saturday afternoon, was chaired by National Security Advisor Susan Rice with the Principals Committee to "further review the situation and follow-up actions," according to the White House.
Among those at the meeting Saturday afternoon were the secretaries of state, defense and homeland security and the directors of the FBI and CIA. Rice then joined Lisa Monaco, President Obama's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, in briefing the president, the White House said in a statement.
"The president has received frequent briefings over the last week on all aspects of the potential threat and our preparedness measures," according to the statement.
The travel alert was the first of its kind since an announcement preceding the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It came as Washington prepared to close its embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim world this Sunday over security concerns.
U.S. officials have not offered many details on the nature of the threat, but apparently are taking it seriously.
On Friday, the threat was described by Rep. Peter King, chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, as "very specific."
"We're not certain exactly where something might happen but it's very specific as to when and it's also very specific as to the fact that it is going to happen, so we have to be on alert everywhere," the New York Republican told WINS-AM.
The travel alert was the first of its kind since an announcement preceding the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It came as Washington prepared to close its embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim world this Sunday over security concerns.
U.S. officials have not offered many details on the nature of the threat, but apparently are taking it seriously.
A White House official said Friday night President Obama was being updated on "a potential threat occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula."
An official told Fox News on Saturday that the president will get updates through his birthday weekend, which includes a retreat to Camp David, from Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco.
"There is a significant threat stream and we're reacting to it," said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He told ABC News in an interview to be aired Sunday that the threat was "more specific" than previous ones and the "intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests."
Daily politics news delivered to your inbox: sign up for our newsletter
King, a former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee told WINS-AM that Americans abroad should register with the U.S. consulates in the countries they are visiting.