Nightly News   |  August 05, 2013

A scramble for intelligence in face of ‘very real’ threat

Intercepted communication about a planned terror attack between al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Pakistan and Nasir al-Wahisi in Yemen prompted the State Department’s embassy closings – but it’s still unclear what might happen in the coming days. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>>> terrorism thrt that led to a worldde travel art for amicans and the closure of those u.s. outpostscros the muslim world . it all began with annterpted counication. our chief foreignafares correspondt andrea mitchell has t latt from the state partnt tonight. andrea, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. it was a rare intercepted communication between the leader of al qaeda central in pakistan d s trorist proge' in yemen that s off immediate arms from the president on down. now we know why the state department closed smany embassies and and iued the worldwidtrav alert. thentercepted communication about a plann terr aack between al qaedleader ayman al zawahiri and -- no spefic targets but a date. august 4th th holiest d of ramadan when the teor windowould en. but for ho long? hoping publicity would disrupt the plot, the white house went public. still scrambling for more intelligence, today the ste department closed more diomatic posts for the rest of the week while reopening the most fortified like bagad and kabul.

>> they don' know en,here or w. the u.s. has been targeng yemen's al qda branc with drone attacks, at least three in e last two weeks. beuse it is theourc of cent plots against the.s. and its allies. th foiled underwear bber on christmas of2009, the cgo bomb ploin 2010 , and the 2009 failed attempt to kill a rising saudi ader mohammad binayev,ossiy a future king of saudi arabian that case, eebz a as -- ibrahim al sawhri. today the wte house explained there is still a threat.

>> or that reason we have to be continually gilant and he been.

>> reporte the state departnt said today that reason prison breaks in iraq, kistan and lib all orchestrated by al qaeda releasing almost 2,000 priners are not related to this current threat but cld be a rea worry going forward i coming months, brian.

>> andrea mitchell following it at the ste departmenfor us tonight.