The British Foreign Office issued a statement early today, quickly followed by a similar one from the US State Department, cautioning citizens to leave Benghazi, Libya in response to a “specific, imminent threat.”
British officials cited “al-Qaeda” in their threats but provided no additional details. The US warning simply reiterated a previous one warning Americans to avoid Benghazi and the surrounding area.
Libya’s Interior Ministry sought to downplay the threat, saying they had ratcheted up security and that things were well in hand. After last week’s Algeria siege, the Western-run oil fields around Benghazi must look like inviting targets for militants, however.
The INSI, a journalist safety watchdog, also claimed credible information about the possibility of oil-field attacks, hinting at a possible link to secessionist efforts ongoing in Benghazi, where Islamists seek to break off from the Tripoli-dominated government.