But…we were told that al Qaeda is on the run. Before about 750 al Qaeda and Taliban were broken out of jails in Iraq and Pakistan.

The United States is closing all of its embassies Sunday in the Middle East and parts of Asia because of a possible al-Qaeda-related threat to diplomatic posts worldwide, American officials told NBC News on Thursday.

The U.S. has been “apprised of information that out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations, that indicates we should institute these precautionary steps,” said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

She didn’t say which or how many embassies would be closed or what kind of information led to the decision, but she said the closings could be extended, “depending on our analysis.”

The State Department added that the threat may be linked to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Update: The State Department is now issuing an emergency worldwide travel alert for all American citizens (or “residents” for those of you in Seattle).