[In the last few weeks, massive sentiment has grown -=- in the US and worldwide — against the US government suppression of whistleblowers who are exposing US war crimes. The hounding and stalking and threats on refugee/expatriat NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and the conviction of US Army war-crimes-whistleblower Bradley Manning, have been condemned and denounced by millions, throwing the credibility of the US’s repressive machinery into major crisis, even among its allies.
In this context, the US empire has a dire necessity to reassert its authority and credibility for ongoing and new imperialist aggressions under the banner of the “war on terror” — to justify further consolidation of their police state. So the appearance — the claim — that serious attacks are imminent, by al Qaeda or someone, requiring the closure of US diplomatic, military, and CIA offices throughout north Africa and the Middle East, is very questionable by nature of its timing re the Snowden and Manning suppression-moves.
Of course, some violent attack on the US may or may not happen in coming days–we have no way of knowing nor predicting. But we urge all democratic, anti-imperialist people to watch very carefully. If no attack occurs, it may show that the claim of a serious threat was empty or false. If an attack does occur, on one level or another, then one must ask if al Qaeda (or others of similar thought and practice) have provided a gift to US repressive forces once again. And, given the history of covert and “false-flag” operations by the CIA and their closest partner Israel/Mossad, the theatrical production of an attack for repressive-justification must also be closely considered. The bourgeois media won’t look into such possibilities, for obvious reasons.
Here below, the New York Times gives its report on this government-declared threat.
In this situation, things may not be what they seem, not by a long shot. In coming days, keep an eye on new government moves to deny privacy rights, human rights, and to suppress whistleblowers’ exposures and investigative journalism. — Frontlines ed.]
New York Times: “Terror Threat Prompts U.S. to Close Diplomatic Missions”
By MARK MAZZETTI, New York Times, August 1, 2013
A terrorism threat has prompted the United States to close dozens of American diplomatic missions in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere through the weekend, American officials said Thursday.
Officials gave few details about what prompted the move to close an unusually large number of American missions, but said there was “credible” information that an Al Qaeda regional affiliate might be plotting an attack sometime in the coming days.
“It’s not often that we close a bunch of embassies at once,” said one official, adding that the threat was being taken particularly seriously by American intelligence agencies.
The official said that the State Department was planning to have nearly all American diplomatic facilities in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia closed through the weekend, including missions in Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In much of the Muslim world, diplomatic facilities are generally closed on Friday and Saturday, but open on Sunday.
A State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, told reporters on Thursday that the decision was taken “out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations.” The State Department did not announce on Thursday which terror group might be plotting an attack, but American officials indicated that the threat originated from one of Al Qaeda’s regional affiliates.
To date, the only Al Qaeda affiliate that has shown both a desire and an ability to attack American facilities overseas is Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group based in Yemen.
In a meeting at the White House on Thursday, President Obama met with Yemen’s president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. American and Yemeni officials said that counterterrorism operations in Yemen were among the main topics of the meeting.
American drones have carried out three separate strikes in Yemen, over the past week according to Long War Journal, a Web site that tracks drone strikes. There have been 15 American drone strikes in Yemen this year, according to the site.
The closings come toward the end of the Ramadan holidays and the approaching one-year anniversary of the terror attack on Sept. 11, 2012, on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
“This seems to be a late-Ramadan threat,” one senior American diplomat said. “We don’t have information on the specific details.”