Worldwide Alert for Americans Traveling Abroad

State Department issues a travel alert warning of potential terrorist attacks by al Qaeda.
3:26 | 08/02/13

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Transcript for Worldwide Alert for Americans Traveling Abroad
together, another reminder of this uncertain world. There is a worldwide alert that al qaeda is looking for a moment to strike. Today the state department issuing an alert warning americans overseas, that a plot is under way. But are there specific targets, and what should americans do? Abc's chief global affairs correspondent, martha raddatz, tracking all the latest developments for us tonight. Today's global travel alert comes as the state department is shutting down more than 20 embassies and consulates, the most since 9/11. A terrible reminder for americans that we are still major targets. The worldwide warning is alarming and unusually broad. It covers travel for americans across the globe ands travels to be especially wary of tourist sites and transportation. The warning will stay in effect until the end of august. Trof terrorists, may use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests. We spoke today exclusively to the chairman of the joint chiefs for abc's this week. It is an al qaeda affiliated threat. It is of the al qaeda branch. Is the threat to blow up an embassy, a consulate or something else? That part of it is unspecified. But the intent seems clear. The intent is what? The intent is western, not just u.S. Interests. Reporter: It's an active plot, coming from yemen, where the underwear bomber got his training and where anwar alall-aky directed strikes until he was killed two years ago. But there's a new boss now. Intelligence showed this latest plot could involve multiple targets, both inside and outside yemen. Thus, the long list of embassy closures across the muslim world. This after billions of dollars in security measures that can stop a truck. And protect from blasts. Today's warnings clearly fall out from the deadly attack on the mission in benghazi. Since then, 151 new diplomatic security positions have been approved. 1,000 additional marines for embassy security, although not yet in place, and more than 500 marines and soldiers now part of a quick reaction force to respond to attacks in africa. Tonight officials are hoping that closing down these facilities and improving security in the region will avert an attack, but there's no certainty that will work. Martha, what does the defense department advise families who have friends and family members traveling? Well, I think frankly, you just have to be extra vigilant in public. Steer clear of local events, like demonstrations. And there's also something called smart traveler enrollment, where you sign up to get e-mails and texts about security advisories. There's an app for your smart phone. Advising you of additional details as they development. Exactly. All right, martha, who will be standing sentry for us. Now we turn next to food

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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