The US would continue to monitor the terrorist threat coming from the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and take all the necessary action to thwart that, the Obama Administration said on Monday. "I'm not in a position to discuss specific intelligence, but we believe this threat is significant, and we are taking it seriously for that reason and have taken the actions that the State Department announced out of an abundance of caution and will continue to monitor this and take action as necessary," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
Carney said the threat is emanating from and maybe directed towards the Arabian Peninsula, but it is beyond that, potentially. "That is why we have taken some of the actions we've taken. And we can't be more specific than that except to say that the embassy closures that we've announced are in reaction to that out of an abundance of caution, and the extension of those closures does not reflect a new stream of threat information but is more a reflection of taking necessary precautions," he said.
According to Carney, the current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organisations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond. "And our information suggests that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August," he said.
"What, we know is that the threat emanates from and may be focused on -- occurring in the Arabian Peninsula, rather, but it could potentially be beyond that or elsewhere. And so we cannot be more specific, which is why we've taken some of the actions we've taken and made the statements that we've made," Carney said.
The State Department, however, refrained from giving any information on the actions that the US might take against these terrorists. "I'm not going to get into specifics about what actions we might be taking. I will say that we said this weekend when we put out the travel alert that this threat emanates from the Arabian Peninsula. Clearly, AQAP is the most active terrorist organisation there and has been the most operationally active affiliate of al-Qaida core," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said.
The US, she said, is going to keep evaluating the information it gets in and make security decisions going forward. "Our preference is for embassies and consulates to be open. Clearly, we operate around the world in places like this because we have a mission there. But we have to balance the mission need versus the security situation on the ground, and we'll continue making those decisions going forward," Harf said in response to a question.