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Wednesday, July 27, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

In 'Worldwide Caution' State Dept. cites 'credible' Al Qaida attack info

WASHINGTON — The United States has warned its nationals of an imminent attack by Al Qaida in the Middle East and other areas.


The State Department has issued a so-called "Worldwide Caution" that warned of Al Qaida strikes in the Middle East as well as neighboring Asia, Africa and Europe. Al Qaida was said to be targeting a range of tourist and other destinations with conventional and nonconventional weapons.

"Current information suggests that Al Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East," the advisory said on July 26. "These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings."

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The statement, last issued in January, asserted that Al Qaida could be planning an attack to avenge the U.S. assassination of Osama Bin Laden in May. The State Department cited such potential targets as businesses, hotels, places of worship, schools and tourist sites.

"Credible information indicates terrorist groups also seek to continue attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East and North Africa," the advisory said. "For example, Iraq remains dangerous and unpredictable. Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue."

Other Middle East countries believed targeted by Al Qaida included Algeria, Lebanon and Yemen. The State Department said Americans could also be under threat in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya and Syria.

"U.S. citizens are warned that demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate into violent clashes," the advisory said. "U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations if possible and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of a demonstration."

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