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Western embassies remain closed in Yemen; 19 U.S. posts shuttered amid threat
Question of the Day
The alert calls on police agencies in all 190 Interpol-member countries to try to find out whether the jailbreaks were coordinated or linked, Interpol said Saturday.
Lawmakers briefed on the intelligence said over the weekend the threat was the worst since Sept. 11, 2001.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the ranking Republican on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the danger was “the most serious threat that I’ve seen in the last several years.”
Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, concurred and said the magnitude of the plot may be even more extensive.
“I have been given every assurance that we’re doing everything we can to prevent this threat from happening,” Mr. McCaul said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And I must say this is probably one of the most specific and credible threats I’ve seen perhaps since 9/11. And that’s why everybody is taking this so seriously.”
He called the decision to close the embassies a “smart call.”
“The threat was specific as to how enormous it was going to be and also that certain dates were given,” Rep. Peter. T King, New York Republican and chairman of a House subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
Mr. King said he believes al Qaeda “is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11 because it has mutated and it’s spread in dramatically different locations.” The terror network’s Yemeni branch, known as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, “is the most deadly of all the al Qaeda affiliates,” he said.
But Sen. Lindsey Graham cautioned against allowing the United States to be driven out of the Middle East as resurgent elements of the global al Qaeda network reconstitute themselves in the volatile region.
“Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al Qaeda in Iraq, al-Nusra, all of them have one thing in common: They want to drive the West out of the Mideast and take over these Muslim countries and create an al Qaeda-type religious entity in the place of what exists today,” Mr. Graham, South Carolina Republican, saidSunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “So this is an effort to terrorize us, to drive us out of the Mideast.”
Mr. Graham said the U.S. has to show “resolve, but we have to be smart.” He said he still plans to travel to Egypt with Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, in the near future.
“We can’t let them get away with this. We have to stand up to them,” he said.
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, agreed that the government is taking appropriate action.
“We need to take every precaution necessary, and that’s what we’re doing right now,” Mr. Ruppersberger said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Mr. King said he often disagrees with the Obama administration on matters of national security, but supports the steps its officials have taken in recent days.
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About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
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