The United States embassy in Manila is not among embassies and consular missions the Department of State has temporarily shut down because of potential terrorist attacks.
Interpol on Sunday issued a worldwide security alert after jailbreaks in at least nine countries, including Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, were linked to al-Qaeda. The jailbreak in Libya freed about 1,000 Islamist militants, reports said.
The State department ordered its 22 missions across Middle East and North Africa to temporarily shut operations on Sunday, a day of work in Islam countries. The attacks may possibly emanate “from the Arabian Peninsula,” the department said in its warning.
“Current information suggests that al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” the advisory added.
Interpol said August marks many of the high-profile cases of terrorist attacks such as those in Russia, Indonesia and India. The month also marked the 15th anniversary of the attacks against US Embassy in Nairobi in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania that killed 200 mostly African citizens and injuries thousands others.
The security warning will last until August 31.
“Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests. US citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure,” the advisory said.
The latest warning on travelling to Manila was on July 5. It advised American citizens to avoid traveling to Mindanao and Sulu because of continuing terrorist threats and insurgent activities there.
“We continue to work closely with other nations on the threat from international terrorism, including from al-Qaeda. Information is routinely shared between the US and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats,” the department said.
BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON