Video: US closes consulate in Lahore after threat received

posted at 8:01 am on August 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Last night, the US State Department closed its consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, and evacuated all but a skeleton crew of personnel to the capital of Islamabad.  The embassy there remains open for business, but nineteen others will remain closed at least until tomorrow due to intelligence about a major threat:

The State Department has evacuated most of its diplomats from Lahore, Pakistan in response to a terrorist threat against the U.S. consulate, senior State Department and other senior U.S. officials told CNN.

“We have picked up what we regard as a threat worthy of taking this action,” one senior U.S. official told CNN.

The State Department issued an “ordered departure” for all of its diplomats in Lahore Thursday, except for a handful of emergency personnel. The diplomats were moved to Islamabad, the nation’s capital, officials said.

A travel warning issued by the State Department said the department “ordered this drawdown due to specific threats concerning the U.S. Consulate in Lahore” and warned U.S. citizens against travel to Pakistan.

Is this related to the earlier threat? State doesn’t have enough “granularity” to say:

While one U.S. official said it was not related, a second U.S. official said the connection wasn’t clear.

“We are still digging and trying to trace whether it is related,” the senior U.S. official said about the possible link between the heightened threat against the U.S. in the region and the threat against the consulate in Lahore. “I’m not willing to say it’s related, but can’t say it is unrelated. We just don’t have that level of granularity yet.”

It might be a reaction in part to other activity in Pakistan. The Taliban took credit for assassinating almost half of the top police commanders in Quetta, on the other side of the country from Lahore, in an attack on a funeral. Analysts believe that the attack was more likely carried out by so-called “core” al-Qaeda:

Nearly half the top police commanders in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province were killed Thursday when insurgents shot and killed a police inspector, then bombed his funeral hours later, where most of the province’s police commanders had gathered. At least 30 people were reported dead and 40 wounded.

The attack in Quetta, Baluchistan’s capital, was claimed by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the formal name for the Pakistani Taliban. The claim of responsibility called it revenge for a recent crackdown on Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an al Qaida-linked ally. But militants told McClatchy they thought Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was the more likely suspect because the Pakistani Taliban lacked the local resources to launch any such an operation in Quetta.

Needless to say, this hardly paints a picture of a terrorist group “on the run,” as the Obama administration has insisted for the last two years. The White House tried to spin that by claiming that the resurgent elements of al-Qaeda are “affiliates” — as if that makes any difference in terms of national security anyway — but McClatchy calls that nonsense in its analysis today:

The rise in prominence of Nasir al Wuhayshi, the Yemeni head of al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, underscores the transformation of al Qaida from a relatively small group led by one charismatic man into a diffuse global organization with many branches that pursue local objectives but follow a single ideology, according to counterterrorism analysts and officials.

The change has undermined the Obama administration’s boast that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have “decimated” what’s been called core al Qaida, according to veteran al Qaida watchers. Instead, the organization, no longer dependent on the leadership of a single personality, is growing, with authority now spread among leaders not just in Yemen but also in Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Egypt’s Sinai. The branches that operate in those regions aren’t affiliates, the experts say, they’re al Qaida.

The experts are still uncertain how the various leaders of al Qaida interact with one another, and there are signs that Ayman al Zawahiri, the Egyptian doctor who was named to lead al Qaida after U.S. special forces shot and killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011, still holds special influence.

But experts say it’s no longer accurate to talk about a core al Qaida that’s in charge of groups operating in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, Iraq and Syria.

Besides, if there is such a thing as “core” al-Qaeda, Lahore is where you’d be most likely to find it, outside of Waziristan. If we’re on the run from Lahore, it’s not an al-Qaeda “affiliate” that’s the issue.


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Disgruntle Middle Easterners

Electrongod on August 9, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Looks like Teh SCOAMT’s proclamation the other night on Leno that it was AQ-Pakistan that’s back on its heels just met its expiration date.

Steve Eggleston on August 9, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Will the press corps actually ask him about his campaign speech? If they do, they’ll let him get away with ‘core’ AQ…

cmsinaz on August 9, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Our global image has improved since dear leader took office and give him a break about his vacay….. we’ll return to bashing president vacays when the gop takes office
-morning joe and crew

cmsinaz on August 9, 2013 at 8:10 AM

This is just the “Can’t a guy just eat his waffle” upsized to meet foreign policy demands. Within the context of the need for vacation, this is the president’s way of saying, “don’t bother me now, I’m busy.”

ted c on August 9, 2013 at 8:13 AM

granularity….seriously?

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 8:14 AM

At least Detroit is back on track economically with a major boom in business; new homes being built, corporations relocating there and people flocking from all over the U.S. to be part of the rush. Bark had it half right.

Bishop on August 9, 2013 at 8:14 AM

It’s almost like he is trying to provoke an attack!

ctmom on August 9, 2013 at 8:16 AM

“Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.” ~ Obama

Conservative4Ever on August 9, 2013 at 8:18 AM

thank god we elected and re-elected a man who really will know how to interface with violent sociopathic muslim mass murderers… he lived in a muslim country or something once…

The Chum Administration- throwing nothing but weakness and submission into the international waters.

mittens on August 9, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Ed Henry will ask him about his Al Qaeda on the run speech IF he gets called on.. I hope

cmsinaz on August 9, 2013 at 8:20 AM

On the run?

Exactly.

Who does Obama have “On the run”?

US from our embassies!

ITguy on August 9, 2013 at 8:21 AM

After nearly 12 years since 9/11 we don’t have enough intelligence to isolate the threat to a specific embassy?

Is it because the State Department still searching YouTube for a video for some answers?

PappyD61 on August 9, 2013 at 8:23 AM

granularity….seriously?

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Bureaucratese is a language just like Ebonics. Down with notions of standard English!

thuja on August 9, 2013 at 8:25 AM

We just don’t have that level of granularity yet.

granularity….seriously?

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 8:14 AM

I’m with you. WTF? Non-bureaucratese, please. They don’t have that level of sand piles or sugar for coffee?

Translation: “We have no idea what’s going on, but we’re scared shiteless, so we’re getting out of Dodge.”

BuckeyeSam on August 9, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Maybe we’ll get lucky and the terrorists will start talking about obozocare next.

Flange on August 9, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Exactly.

Who does Obama have “On the run”?

US from our embassies!

ITguy on August 9, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Time for Paul Shanklin to do a parody for Ali Limbaughi – “USA On The Run”

Steve Eggleston on August 9, 2013 at 8:26 AM

RUN AWAY!!!!!

/Mom Jeans

Key West Reader on August 9, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Has anybody at 1600 Penn even thought about putting a company of Marines with plenty of ammo on the rooftops and behind barricades with orders to fire at will on any and all attempts at incursion? That’s our sovereign territory. Does anybody over there have a spine capable of stiffening?

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2013 at 8:29 AM

The Chum “Choom” Administration- throwing nothing but weakness “stems” and submission “seeds” into the international waters bong.

mittens on August 9, 2013 at 8:20 AM

There, fixed it for you…I’m sure our Libertarian (and liberal doper) friends in CA, CO & others will understand the context.

ontheright on August 9, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Has anybody at 1600 Penn even thought about putting a company of Marines with plenty of ammo on the rooftops and behind barricades with orders to fire at will on any and all attempts at incursion? That’s our sovereign territory. Does anybody over there have a spine capable of stiffening?

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Would you trust Dog Eater and his cabal of monkeys to not abandon you if things got tight?

Bark would sell out the defenders faster than Hitler sold out the 6th Army at Stalingrad.

Bishop on August 9, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Didn’t bin Laden say America was a paper tiger that would fold at the first provocation? I guess he was just a couple decades early in that assessment.

Kafir on August 9, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Would you trust Dog Eater and his cabal of monkeys to not abandon you if things got tight?

Bishop on August 9, 2013 at 8:35 AM

.
I have one vote for “spineless.” Any others?

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Retreat. USA in full retreat.

petefrt on August 9, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Panetta has plans to cut the Army to 390,000 and Marines to 150,000.We are in deep kimshi.

docflash on August 9, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Retreat. USA in full retreat.

petefrt on August 9, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Jeantel told Trayvon about the early teachings when confronted by a gay rapist..

Oh wait…

Electrongod on August 9, 2013 at 8:43 AM

I, for one, demand to know exactly why the United States Department of State nor the White House failed to provide al-Qaeda in Pakistan with a proper personally signed transcript of Obama’s famed 2009 Cairo speech.

Coulda saved a pantload of troubles if they had only been provided with the words of the Way, the Truth and the Light that is Barrack Hussein Obama, ya know.

Focus, people, focus.

coldwarrior on August 9, 2013 at 8:44 AM

+1 EG

cmsinaz on August 9, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Has anybody at 1600 Penn even thought about putting a company of Marines with plenty of ammo on the rooftops and behind barricades with orders to fire at will on any and all attempts at incursion? That’s our sovereign territory. Does anybody over there have a spine capable of stiffening?

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Only racists use Stand Your Ground logic!

thuja on August 9, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Glorious Little Stones.

I kept thinking of the film Sand Pebbles during the “Arab Spring” and the brave but human characters over there carrying the red, white and blue.

If you like, search for the movie and watch the character Captain Collins. He faced our flag with a foreign policy nobody understood and an impossible fight.

Then pray for them and hope that they realize that they are appreciated by some of us home folks who are asking Steve McQueen’s dying words about the chain of events we have watched recently.

There never seems to be an answer.

IlikedAUH2O on August 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM

granularity….seriously?

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Bureaucratese is a language just like Ebonics. Down with notions of standard English!

thuja on August 9, 2013 at 8:25 AM

We just don’t have that level of granularity yet.

granularity….seriously?

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 8:14 AM

I’m with you. WTF? Non-bureaucratese, please. They don’t have that level of sand piles or sugar for coffee?

Translation: “We have no idea what’s going on, but we’re scared shiteless, so we’re getting out of Dodge.”

BuckeyeSam on August 9, 2013 at 8:25 AM

I suppose somewhere there is a government manual that describes in colorful charts what levels of granularity are desirable in decisions on policy?

There seems to be a lot of insert any multi-syllabic term to obfuscate…more than usual anyway.

Maybe it’s a naturally occurring defense mechanism by phony appartchiki to growing phony scandals.

Sheesh!

Granularity Folks…It’s what’s for Breakfast!

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM

My comment disappeared…

Granularity….It’s what’s for Breakfast

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Sand Pebbles is an awesome movie, one of the few movies that manage to get the firearms correct. McQueen actually has to change mags in his BAR after sustained firing, and the bolt action rifles aren’t capable of multiple shots without racking.

Bishop on August 9, 2013 at 9:01 AM

We evacuate. They sit tight having made us look like fools. We re occupy and then they attack. So we are fools not just once but over and over and over. Either get out or drop a small tactical nuke in Waziristan and then inform them we will drop one on anyone who screws with us. Talk is cheap. General Mattis , USMC said it best and I paraphrase, “screw with us and people will talk got 10,000 years what we did to you”
Now there is a man who should not go out in a lightning storm because brass balls attract lightening.

Art on August 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Has anybody at 1600 Penn even thought about putting a company of Marines with plenty of ammo on the rooftops and behind barricades with orders to fire at will on any and all attempts at incursion? That’s our sovereign territory. Does anybody over there have a spine capable of stiffening?

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2013 at 8:29 AM

With the ROE The One and Kerry will insist upon (“You may not fire under any circumstances, in fact your weapons must be unloaded, safety-wired, and stored in the armory”), they would be nothing but targets. Especially for a car bomb.

Part of The One and his minions’ twisted psyches would get a visceral thrill out of seeing them dead. But a bit more of those minds might comprehend that such a disaster, after Benghazi, could create a massive backlash at the polls next year.

The One cannot afford that.

clear ether

eon

eon on August 9, 2013 at 9:05 AM

We just don’t have that level of granularity yet.

granularity….seriously?

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 8:14 AM

I’m with you. WTF? Non-bureaucratese, please. They don’t have that level of sand piles or sugar for coffee?

Translation: “We have no idea what’s going on, but we’re scared shiteless, so we’re getting out of Dodge.”

BuckeyeSam on August 9, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Yeah, facts on the ground stick in their craw, but the grains are still too fine for their determination.

onlineanalyst on August 9, 2013 at 9:07 AM

My comment disappeared…

Granularity….It’s what’s for Breakfast

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

.
Nonsense… it just got caught up in the NSA filters and was flagged for immediate moderation and review. The moderator on duty was just getting coffee and having a laugh with the hot redhead over in accounting. That’s all.
.
BTW, what are “Granularity….It’s what’s for Breakfast” code words for?

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2013 at 9:10 AM

With the ROE The One and Kerry will insist upon …

eon on August 9, 2013 at 9:05 AM

.
That’s why I specified “fire at will” and a question about stiff spines.

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Who is trayvon martin….

crosshugger on August 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Instead, the organization, no longer dependent on the leadership of a single personality, is growing.

The organization already had little use for Osama. By the time the SEALS killed him, Bin Laden was a doddering old has-been geezer trying to become relevant again.

Obama really overplayed his role in the attack. Osama was bumping around the yard in a cowboy hat for crying out loud.

marybel on August 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Looks like we can be chased outa just about anywhere.

Akzed on August 9, 2013 at 9:31 AM

granularity….seriously?

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 8:14 AM

This is ClubGov speak for I am so full of shit I can hardly stand it.

Or “I have no clue what I’m talking about. They sent me out to say stuff, but really have no effing clue what’s going on.”

And Zero is on Vaca! On the Vin yard…

dogsoldier on August 9, 2013 at 9:31 AM

RUN AWAY!!!!!

/Mom Jeans

Key West Reader on August 9, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Obligatory…

ITguy on August 9, 2013 at 9:31 AM

“Hey America… boo!”

“Runaway!!!”

Akzed on August 9, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Sand Pebbles….great flick……Obama admin….clusterfark

crosshugger on August 9, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Looks like we can be chased outa just about anywhere.

Akzed on August 9, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Since Zero won’t defend an embassy it makes more sense to him to run away and leave them.

You have a duty to run away. Eric said so…

dogsoldier on August 9, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Maybe Obama needs to find some big boy pants….never mind…valerie jarrett and horseface will clean up…..

crosshugger on August 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM

The Taliban took credit for assassinating almost half of the top police commanders in Quetta, on the other side of the country from Lahore, in an attack on a funeral. Analysts believe that the attack was more likely carried out by so-called “core” al-Qaeda:

The change has undermined the Obama administration’s boast that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have “decimated” what’s been called core al Qaida, according to veteran al Qaida watchers…

But experts say it’s no longer accurate to talk about a core al Qaida that’s in charge of groups operating in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, Iraq and Syria.

Besides, if there is such a thing as “core” al-Qaeda, Lahore is where you’d be most likely to find it, outside of Waziristan. If we’re on the run from Lahore, it’s not an al-Qaeda “affiliate” that’s the issue.

And if al Qaeda, including much of “core” al Qaeda, whatever it is, is alive and well all over the region from Algeria to Pakistan, who the hell has Dear Leader been assassinating by the thousands the last four years?

farsighted on August 9, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Little Barry No Stones.

/Sounds Gangsta, huh?

Key West Reader on August 9, 2013 at 9:53 AM

We just don’t have that level of granularity yet.

But we do have enough granularity to identify thousands of individual candidates for assassination by remote control drone, right?

farsighted on August 9, 2013 at 9:55 AM

On the run? Looks like we’re on the run.

Ward Cleaver on August 9, 2013 at 10:10 AM

All part of the plan. There is a reason we are closing our embassies in the islamic countries. There is a reason we are drastically shrinking our military. There is a reason we are blowing a trillion a year more than revenue. There is a reason why no summit with Russia. There is a reason that the only places the FBI are specifically forbidden to surveil are mosques. Can you see the end game yet?

SunSword on August 9, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Ous Embassies are ‘U.S. Soil’ in foreign countries…and Obama is proving the U.S. is too weak to defend its own soil…

Perhaps things like this is why the US is always perceived as weak when Democrats are in the White House.

Then again, I would rather see Americans pulled out of a nation rather than sacrificed again by a government un-willing to protect its people and/or adhere to the military code of ‘Leave no man behind’!

easyt65 on August 9, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Can you see the end game yet?

No. What is it?

It looks like AQ issues a threat, we close it down, they issue another threat…are we withdrawing from the world?

PattyJ on August 9, 2013 at 12:04 PM

but follow a single ideology,

Which must go unnamed because a lot or corrupt western leadership and organizations make a lot of money from the followers of said ideology.

BL@KBIRD on August 9, 2013 at 12:23 PM

who the hell has Dear Leader been assassinating by the thousands the last four years?

farsighted on August 9, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Muslims feed America the target information to earn their “higher pay and better equipment” bonus. I imagine they hog tie cousins out of favor, disgraced rivals, petty criminals, whatever fills the bill and stick them in a remotely driven vehicle or compound. Make their intel reports and some drone dude in the US waxes them. You can wonder all day about Muslim sincerity in everything. No one questions who is really put in the target sights.

BL@KBIRD on August 9, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Run, run, run, ..Never, never ever, Stand Your Ground!! We owe it to Trayvon!! We are all Trayvons now!! Sharpton, Obama, Jackson, J-z, and All fellow muslims agree! It’s the O-Benghazi doctrine! The only enemies are Tea Partys, Republicans, and American taxpayers! Fight, Fight, fight, them until they are destroyed!!Obama is now the de facto leader of the Muslim world and the arms merchant to al queida! Real scandals…Phony President!!

Marco on August 9, 2013 at 1:08 PM

They left a “skeleton crew” behind? Who would be stupid enough to stay?

This is America. We may give our lives to save others, but we don’t volunteer to be targets. Even when the CIC isn’t a turd.

Squiggy on August 9, 2013 at 5:41 PM