Al-Qaida chief's message spurred embassy closures

Associated Press
A Bahraini armored personnel vehicle reinforces U.S. Embassy security just outside of a gate to the building in Manama, Bahrain, on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013. Security forces close access roads, put up extra blast walls and beef up patrols near some of the 21 U.S. diplomatic missions in the Muslim world that Washington ordered closed for the weekend over a ``significant threat'' of an al-Qaida attack. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Two officials say a secret message that was intercepted between al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri and his deputy in Yemen led to the shutdown of U.S. embassies.

A U.S. intelligence official and a Mideast diplomat said al-Zawahri's message was picked up several weeks ago and appeared to initially target Yemeni interests.

The intelligence official said the message was sent to Nasir al Wuhayshi, the head of the terror network's organization, based in Yemen, that is known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sensitive issue publicly.

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