Al-Qaeda threat prompts U.S. to shut diplomatic posts across Mideast and Asia, including Israel

( The United States is temporarily shutting embassies and consulates across the Middle East and Asia on Sunday as a precautionary measure due to a terror threat related to Al-Qaeda.

Although not specified by the State Department, CBS News reported that U.S. intelligence had “picked up signs of an Al-Qaeda plot against American diplomatic posts in the Middle East and other Muslim countries.”

The diplomatic posts that were temporarily shuttered included Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mauritania, Sudan and Djibouti.

Daniel Pipes, president and founder of Middle East Forum, in a column for National Review called the temporary closures “pre-emptive cringing unworthy of a great country, even humiliating.”

“Why do we allow a bunch of extremist thugs to close us down, rather than the reverse? For what purpose to we pay for the world’s best military and largest intelligence services if not to protect ourselves from this sort of threat?” Pipes wrote.

Posted on August 2, 2013 .