The Corner

On the Embassy Closures

Some quick thoughts on the State Department announcement that American embassies throughout the Muslim world will be closed this Sunday, August 4, due to reported al-Qaeda terror threats:

1) The fact that this is reportedly an al-Qaeda plot shows once again that AQ is alive and well globally, contrary to President Obama’s ludicrous and willfully misleading statements over the past two years that it is “on the run” and “nearing defeat.” In fact, al-Qaeda, its affiliates, and its allies now cover more geographical ground across the Muslim world than they did on 9/11 — everywhere from Pakistan’s tribal regions to Yemen, Somalia, Sinai, Syria, Nigeria, Libya, Iraq, Europe, and the Sahara desert region, specifically northern Mali and southern Algeria. And while these assorted jihadist outfits may not be able to carry out another massive, 9/11-style attack right now (not for lack of effort or imagination, I might add), they and their sympathizers (see: the Brothers Tsarnaev) are more than capable of causing plenty of carnage and psychological terror while also capturing the news cycle for days — as we’ve seen in Boston, Benghazi, Fort Hood, and elsewhere.

2) What happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 — and the chaotic, shameful cover-up that has followed — provided an enticing blueprint for Islamic jihadists. If you can’t hit America in a dramatic way on its own soil, hit symbolic government targets abroad, like embassies, that are lightly guarded, and watch the U.S. government go weak in the knees and scramble to respond. The Benghazi terrorist assault and its aftermath have made the United States look vulnerable and weak: There is just no other way to put it. So, too, has the State Department announcement that our embassies and consulates will be closed on August 4. This just adds to the impression that America is on the run and beating a hasty retreat in the Middle East and North Africa. Bills have passed in the House and Senate calling for security at our embassies and consulates around the world to be beefed up. Of course, embassy and consulate security should have been strong and heightened long before September 11, 2012. The Benghazi affair merely cast a troubling light on a major security vulnerability.

3) A key point in all this that has been overlooked is that it isn’t just al-Qaeda that is calling for assaults on American embassies. Last week, a top Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt called for a “siege” of the U.S. embassy in Cairo. This is a big deal. Remember, the black flag of al-Qaeda was raised above that same building by an angry, Islamist mob on the same day as the Benghazi assault last year. It took then-Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood heavy Mohamed Morsi days before he publicly condemned (under heavy pressure from the Obama administration) the attack. As I outline in my new book, The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy, the MB’s threats against the U.S. embassy in Cairo are perfectly consistent with its overall ideology, which is viciously anti-American. Remember, al-Qaeda (and Hamas) are both Brotherhood offshoots that would not exist had it not been for the creation of the MB in Egypt in 1928. AQ and the Brotherhood differ in tactics, but not in their endgame. And with the MB up against the wall in Egypt, there is a very good chance they and their allies could lash out and become more violent, including against Westerners and Western targets on Egyptian soil. Incidentally, a petition is currently circulating demanding that the White House officially designate the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. It has already garnered more than 100,000 signatures, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for the Obama administration to turn away from its disastrous, pro-Brotherhood policies.

This latest alert, and the new details that emerge practically every day about what exactly went on at our consulate in Benghazi on that fateful September day last year, inevitably remind Americans of the unresolved questions and cover-up that still surround that jihadist onslaught. Not a good development, needless to say, for the Obama White House.

— Erick Stakelbeck, author of The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy and host of CBN’s Stakelbeck on Terror show.



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