Fears that al Qaeda may launch attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond in the coming days prompted the United States to close 22 embassies and consulates for a day Sunday - an unprecedented move.
The closures Sunday stretch across a swath of North Africa and the Middle East, from Mauritania to Oman.
Bangladesh and Afghanistan, both majority Muslim nations, also are affected.
Normally, Sunday is the start of the work week in those countries.
The shutdowns could extend beyond Sunday, a senior State Department official said.
A U.S. global travel alert is also in place.FULL STORY