ISIS threat shutters US embassy in Democratic Republic of the Congo for more than a week
The US embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was closed after the US received intelligence that an ISIS-linked group could carry out attacks against US interests there, two US officials tell CNN.
The terror group is not believed to have a significant presence in the DRC and officials say it is believed that the operatives may have been planning to enter the DRC from outside the country.
The embassy had been closed since it received “credible and specific information of a possible terrorist threat against US Government facilities in Kinshasa” on November 24.
The embassy is expected to re-open to the public on Tuesday, according to a statement by the embassy.
Cutting US troops
The Pentagon recently approved a plan to reduce the number of US troops conducting counterterrorism missions in Africa over the next three years, three US officials tell CNN. One defense official told CNN that the planned reductions would reduce the number of US counterterrorism troops and their enablers who support operations by approximately 25%.
The 11-day closure comes ahead of the December 23 elections in the Congo, which the US embassy had warned could bring potential unrest on short notice.
The threat also came amidst an ongoing outbreak of Ebola in that country — the second largest and second deadliest outbreak of the virus in history. State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said last week the closure had not “adversely impacted the United States support to our ongoing efforts there regarding containing that Ebola outbreak.”
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the amount of time the US embassy has been closed.