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Interpol: Global travel warning linked to prison breaks
Paris (AP) - Interpol has issued a global security alert in connection with suspected al-Qaida involvement in several recent prison escapes including those in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan.
The Lyon, France-based international police agency says that the alert follows "the escape of hundreds of terrorists and other criminals" in the past month. The alert calls on Interpol's 190 member countries to help determine whether these events are coordinated or linked, the organization said in a statement Saturday.
Interpol says it issues such alerts fairly regularly, the last one 10 days ago following jailbreaks from Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison and the Taji prison near Baghdad.
The alert also comes a day after the U.S. issued an extraordinary global travel warning to Americans about a possible al-Qaida attack.
The threat which has prompted the U.S. to shutter some diplomatic posts and issue a travel alert is reportedly based on intercepted communications.
The New York Times is reporting that the communications were between senior al-Qaida operatives.
The top U.S. military commander says there is what he calls "a significant threat stream." Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told ABC News that the threat was "more specific" than previous ones and that potential targets are Western, not just U.S. interests."
The State Department is urging American travelers to take extra precautions overseas. Potential dangers listed include public transportation systems and other prime sites for tourists.
The threat follows this week's White House meeting between President Barack Obama and Yemen's current president, Abdo Rabby Mansour Hadi.
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