The international police force Interpol has issued a global security alert after worldwide travel warnings from the U.S. State Department regarding potential terrorist attacks and a series of al-Qaida-linked prison breakouts in which hundreds of alleged terrorists escaped.
The State Department closed 21 of its embassies after releasing its warning that terrorists could be planning attacks during August, which contains part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In a statement issued from its headquarters in Lyon, France, Interpol urged governments worldwide to show “increased vigilance” after prison breakouts over the past month in nine countries, including Iraq, Libya and Pakistan.
“With suspected al-Qaida involvement in several of the breakouts which led to the escape of hundreds of terrorists and other criminals, the Interpol alert requests the organisation’s 190 member countries’ assistance in order to determine whether any of these recent events are co-ordinated or linked,” the international police agency said.
“Interpol is asking its member countries to closely follow and swiftly process any information linked to these events and the escaped prisoners. They are also requested to alert the relevant member country and Interpol general secretariat headquarters if any escaped terrorist is located or intelligence developed which could help prevent another terrorist attack.”
British authorities have not yet specified the nature of the threat which led to the decision to close the embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a on Sunday and Monday in what was described as “a precautionary measure”. A Foreign Office spokesman would not say if the closure was due to a specific threat.