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The US evacuated most of its diplomatic staff from Lahore, Pakistan, because of "specific threats" against the US Consulate, and warned American citizens against traveling to Pakistan. Federal authorities in Miami, Fla., charged Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed, 30, a naturalized US citizen and resident of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Mohamed Hussein Said, 25, a Kenyan national and resident of Nairobi and Mombasa, with numerous crimes involving the provision of support to al Qaeda, al Qaeda in Iraq/ Al Nusrah Front, and Shabaab. The suspects are also accused of "recruiting and moving experienced al Shabaab fighters to the conflict in Syria."

Al-Qaida's growing closeness to LeT, JeM worries security establishment

Yemen Steps Back from Plot Claims, Highlighting US Challenge

FBI seeking information on Burgas terror suspects

Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch eyes a new haven

Washington's erring in al-Qaeda's jihadist jungle

US politicians and defense and intelligence officials said today that intercepted al Qaeda communications over the past few months have indicated a high threat level. A US media report alleged that the latest precautions were triggered by the interception of an al Qaeda conference call involving representatives of a number of affiliates along with the group's top leadership. President Obama canceled the planned summit in Russia.

The US filed murder charges against Ahmed Abu Khattala, who is linked to Ansar al Sharia, for his role in the murder of US personnel in the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi; sealed charges have also been filed against about a dozen others. US officials said the recent flurry of drone strikes in Yemen were an attempt to disrupt an al Qaeda plot, but they are not sure if the strikes have disrupted it. The State Dept. evacuated some diplomatic staff from Yemen and urged US citizens to leave the country. Mike Morrell, the outgoing second in command at the CIA, called Syria the primary security concern for the US, and said more fighters are entering Syria each month to join al Qaeda-linked groups than were entering Iraq at the height of the war with al Qaeda in Iraq.

CIA Sees Syria as Top Threat

US intelligence, Arab allies and even foes decry lack of American vision for Middle East

Wishful thinking on the war on terror

US officials acknowledged the interception of messages last week from al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri ordering al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to attack Western interests as early as Aug. 4. The State Department added Rwanda, Burundi, Madagascar, and Mauritius to the list of countries where US diplomatic missions have been closed due to the al Qaeda threat. The State Dept. is reevaluating a previous assessment that downplayed the degree of Iranian support for terrorist activity in Latin America.

Al Qaeda Threat: Officials Fear 'Ingenious' Liquid Explosive

State Department Ordered Review of Iranian terror Activity in Latin America

Reading Between The Red Lines Of US-Afghan Security Talks

Excerpts from Washington Post interview with Egyptian Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi

In Afghanistan, a second Guantanamo

The US has closed at least 25 diplomatic facilities in the Middle East and North Africa in response to a serious "specific and credible" al Qaeda threat; the closures of some facilities have been extended through Aug. 10. The precautions were taken after a recent message between senior al Qaeda leaders was intercepted. The White House offered to engage with the government of new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on the issue of Iran's nuclear program.

Intercepted al Qaeda message led to shuttering embassies, consulates

Top US security officials conferred today over an al Qaeda threat reportedly targeting Western diplomatic facilities and interests in the Middle East; the State Deptartment has ordered the temporary closure of 21 embassies and consulates in the Muslim world. A senior security official described the threat as "serious" and said the Pentagon is working with the State Dept. and the intelligence community to deal with it.