RDU travelers undeterred by terror alert
Posted August 2, 2013
Updated August 3, 2013
WASHINGTON — A global travel alert issued Friday by the United States State Department won't immediately change security procedures at Raleigh-Durham International, and it didn't change the anniversary plans of Chet and Susan Brumley.
"I wasn't worried that much," said Chet Brumley. The couple learned of the potential terror threat as they prepared to board the Friday night flight to London. They'll mark 35 years together with a visit to England, France and Ireland.
The State Department urged American travelers to take extra precautions when traveling overseas and suggested they sign up for State Department alerts and register with U.S. consulates in the countries they are visiting.
Citing an al-Qaida threat, the State Department also closed 21 embassies and consulates this weekend in the Middle East and northern Africa.
The Brumleys don't have that part of the world on their itinerary, but they will be cautious nonetheless. "We want to be safe, and we appreciate the warnings that are being issued, and we'll pay attention to those," Susan Brumley said.
"It's our anniversary, and we're going to go. We're going to be cautious, but we're going to enjoy ourselves."
The alert was posted a day after the U.S. announced it would close diplomatic facilities on Sunday because of an unspecified threat. Spokeswoman Marie Harf said the department acted out of an "abundance of caution" and that some missions may stay closed for longer than a day. Sunday is a business day in Muslim countries. The diplomatic offices affected stretch from Mauritania in northwest Africa to Afghanistan.
Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Friday the embassy threat was linked to al-Qaida and focused on the Middle East and Central Asia.
"We've had a series of threats," Royce told reporters. "In this instance, we can take a step to better protect our personnel and, out of an abundance of caution, we should." He declined to say if the National Security Agency's much-debated surveillance program helped reveal the threat.
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence panel, also supported the department's decision to go public with its concerns.
"The most important thing we have to do is protect American lives," he said, describing the threat as "not the regular chit chat" picked up from would-be militants on the Internet or elsewhere.