Chris Lawrence. Barbara Starr and Tom Cohen
August 2, 2013

A global travel alert issued Friday by the State Department said al Qaeda may launch attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond in coming weeks, and the U.S. government prepared to close embassies and consulates in the region Sunday as a precaution.

The steps showed heightened concerns about what U.S. officials said was intelligence in recent days that indicated a potential attack in Yemen.

According to three sources, the United States has information al Qaeda in Yemen was in the final stages of planning for an unspecified attack.

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