According to a report from ABC News, U.S. embassies in 22 countries have been closed due to what one official called a “very active” threat.
While specific details of the potential threat aren’t being openly discussed by security officials, it’s being called “big” and a “significant” threat from al-Qaeda.
Details about the possible kind of attack, or dates, are being withheld for now. Though there are reports that explosive devices might be “surgically implanted” as a means to get around traditional detection.
Apparently those who track the “chatter” of al-Qaeda communication across the globe were alarmed as it intensified, alerting officials to believe that an attack could be imminent. Another alarming concern is that the “chatter” they’ve heard is being reported by some officials as deliberate. meaning those communicating are anticipating their communication being intercepted.
This is extremely alarming considering blatant disregard for concealment of information might indicate that those planning the attack are confident that their plans can’t be prevented.
Sources seem to indicate that the largest threat stems from Yemen, where a few European nations have shut down their embassies as well. Though some officials are saying they’re not certain this is limited to just embassies. It could be other installations such as military bases or even transportation services such as airplanes or trains.
And while this new potential threat comes to light, it does shed some light on the importance of what our national security officials do and why much of their information needs to remain classified. As the NSA and others make themselves easy targets (and rightfully so in some instances) for Americans concerned about the power given to them by legislation such as the Patriot Act, these Americans might want to ask themselves, “How many of these attacks are prevented due to the diligence of our national security officials?”
At least before they come to such definite conclusions about these agencies and our national security.
Because it’s easy to point to 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombing as massive failures on national security. However, most of us will never know about the threats that weren’t carried out because they were prevented before they were ever allowed to occur.
Though, I can already hear the conspiracy theorists. “See, this is the government creating a fake threat to keep us afraid and justify their illegal surveillance!” These are the type of people who have a conspiracy for either side. If an attack occurs, they’ll say it shows our methods for gathering intelligence have failed. If we prevent the attack, like I said, they’ll never know about it—because it never happened. Then if action is taken based on actual intelligence, such as closing embassies, they’ll simply say it’s made up and it’s just the government trying to manipulate the public.
You see why these people are never satisfied? No matter what happens, “it’s all a part of the conspiracy.”
But no matter your stance on national security, our intelligence agencies or their methods for collecting intel, I think it’s safe to say most Americans hope no attack occurs and all citizens living overseas remain safe.
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