At first glance we thought that perhaps this was a subtle ploy to divert attention away from the NSA scandals, especially in light of Germany’s announcement that all covert cooperation treaties with the USA are immediately suspended due to mounting evidence of illegal and improper of the NSA spying on the USA’s long time ally. This means that effective today the German and American security services aren’t talking to each other or sharing information without approval from Germany’s Chancellor or PM.
The USA seems to have discovered the capability of inventing potential scenarios designed to scare citizens back into compliance on issues like security and policing. So, when the US government announced that “chatter” in the Muslim world had increased dramatically in relation to a possible terror attack on US Embassy locations and that Americans traveling in Africa and the Middle East could be targeted, my first reaction was somewhere between cautionary and dismissive. We honestly don’t know if this is legitimate, or a ploy to make Americans feel that the NSA really needs to collect all that information on everyone and everything.
As of now, all US Embassies in the those areas have been closed at least for the weekend. Before you make an assumption about the weekend however, remember than in the Muslim world Sunday is not a day off. It is a weekday and Embassy operations reflect that reality. So the shutdown is a real shutdown.
In regards to travel warnings: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57596754/state-department-issues-travel-alert-for-americans-abroad/