WASHINGTON -- Congress has been briefed on US intelligence that al-Qaida was in an advanced stage of planning an attack on American interests abroad, leading to a rare worldwide travel warning from the State Department on Friday.
"Suffice it to say, the State Department doesn't do things like this cavalierly," Congressman Eliot Engel, ranking member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, told The Jerusalem Post Friday afternoon. "If they're doing it, then there's obviously a credible threat."
The congressman from New York said he could not go into details of the threat, as the contents of the meeting were classified.
But CNN reports that the threat originated from al-Qaida in Yemen. US intelligence agencies are unsure of the target, which led to the widely precautionary closing of embassies across the region.
"I think after Benghazi, when there were accusations of lackadaisical security, or putting our people in harms way... I think this is the first time you see a reaction to that," Engel stated, noting the "plausibility" of the threat. "Some of the criticisms are taken seriously, and that's why you see this."