U.S. Issues Worldwide Travel Alert

    NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 28:  A plane takes off at John F. Kennedy Airport on February 28, 2013 in New York City. Should the $85 billion in automatic federal budget cuts, known as the sequester, go into effect Friday as scheduled, airport control towers in a number of states could close, putting pilots and staff members at risk. In addition to the closed control towers, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers could be furloughed, leading to long waits and confusion at many airport security checkpoints.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    Spencer Platt/Getty,Spencer Platt

    Might need to reschedule your Afghanistan vacation plans. The State Department issued a worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens on Friday, citing an unspecified al Qaeda threat. “Current information suggests that al-Qaida 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,” it read. The caution follows the closing of at least 18 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa planned on Sunday and possibly beyond, depending on a threat analysis by the State Department. Officials said the threat could be tied to the end of Ramadan, a monthlong period of prayer and fasting in the Muslim faith.

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