US missions in MENA region cleared to re-open following threat alert

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The US Embassy in Qatar and 17 other missions that were closed across the MENA region over concerns of a terrorist attack have been given the green light to reopen, the US State Department has announced.

But due to the Eid holiday, the mission in Doha will remain closed through Aug. 13:

With the exception of emergency services for citizens, the US embassy in Doha has not been operational for the past week, causing some consternation among residents. 

Elsewhere, the mission in Yemen will stay shut because of a continuing threat, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Friday:

Our embassy in Sanaa, Yemen will remain closed because of ongoing concerns about a threat stream indicating the potential for terrorist attacks emanating from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Our consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, which closed yesterday due to a separate credible threat to that facility, will also remain closed.

Some 19 embassies and consulates, including Doha as well as Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Jeddah, Dubai, Manama and Kuwait, were closed last week after the US said it intercepted chatter from Al Qaeda about a potential attack in the Middle East.

The threat was later determined to be in Yemen, and US citizens and diplomatic staff there were evacuated last week. Yemeni officials eventually said the attack had been thwarted.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo of protest in front of US Embassy in Qatar from last fall by Mostafa Sheshtawy

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