Prompted by intercepted "chatter" of terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, U.S. embassies across the Middle East and North Africa will be shut down through August 10—an extension of yesterday's previously announced closure and a global travel alert from the State Department.

What kind of "chatter," and what kind of attack? So glad you asked! Here's Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger on This Week yesterday:

“We received information that high level people from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are talking about a major attack,” Ruppersberger said. “And these are people at a high level.”

“It’s a very credible threat and it’s based on intelligence,” Ruppersberger continued. “What we have to do now is the most important issue, is protect Americans throughout the world.”

Ruppersberger also commented on the threat’s al-Qaeda connection, saying “We know that al-Qaeda and other people out there want to attack us and kill us and our allies.”

Nice, specific information here from Dutch: Terrorists are planning a terror attack. As is their wont. Definitely the best thing the U.S. can do is confirm that terrorists don't need to do anything besides exist to disrupt and discomfit America's diplomatic presence overseas. (But, you know, Benghazi!!!, or whatever.)

But you can trust "one senior American official who had been briefed on the information but would not provide details," can't you? Because he (she?) tells the New York Times: "This was a lot more than the usual chatter."

[image via AP]