The State Department will close embassies and diplomatic missions in many Muslim countries and Israel on Sunday—President Obama's birthday—over a possible al Qaeda threat.

Sunday, a working day in most of the countries affected, is both the president's birthday (he turns 52) and the date of inauguration of Iran's new president, Hassan Rowhani, though officials "told NBC News they had heard nothing to indicate that the date was chosen for either of those reasons." More likely, NBC's sources say, it has to do with the end of Ramadan on Wednesday.

Some offices could be closed for "additional days" as well, "out of an abundance of caution." Officials wouldn't comment on the nature of the "credible information" that led to the decision, only that it indicated that "terrorist groups … seek to continue attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East and North Africa."

The embassies and consulates that will close: Sana'a, Yemen; Tel Aviv, Israel; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Ankara, Turkey; Muscat, Oman; Doha, Qatar; Cairo, Egypt; Kabul, Afghanistan; Baghdad, Iraq; Amman, Jordan; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Manama, Bahrain; Tripoli, Libya; and Doha, Qatar.