State Dept: Posts in 19 countries to remain closed

By Alicia A. Caldwell

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Aug. 5 2013 7:13 a.m. MDT

Other lawmakers defended the administration's response and promoted the work of the NSA in unearthing the intelligence that led to the security warnings.

King, a frequent critic of President Barack Obama, said: "Whether or not there was any controversy over the NSA at all, all these actions would have been taken."

On Friday, the White House announced the weekend closures and the State Department announced a global travel alert.

The warning urged American travelers to take extra precautions overseas, citing potential dangers involved with public transportation systems and other prime sites for tourists.

It noted that previous terrorist attacks have centered on subway and rail networks as well as airplanes and boats. It suggested travelers sign up for State Department alerts and register with U.S. consulates in the countries they visit. The alert expires Aug. 31.

The intelligence intercepts also prompted Britain and Germany to close their embassies in Yemen on Sunday and Monday. British authorities said some embassy staff in Yemen had been withdrawn "due to security concerns."

France said Monday it would keep its embassy in the Yemeni capital closed through Wednesday.

Interpol, the French-based international policy agency, has also issued a global security alert in connection with suspected al-Qaida involvement in several recent prison escapes including those in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan.

Associated Press writer Michele Salcedo contributed to this report.

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