The US Embassy in Cairo issued a terrorist threat warning on Friday for American citizens living in Egypt.
The diplomatic mission stated on its website that it has “credible information suggesting terrorist interest in targeting US female missionaries in Egypt.”
The embassy urged US citizens to “exercise vigilance, taking necessary precautions to maintain their personal security.” Americans in Egypt were also advised to maintain valid travel documents and to regularly monitor the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which lists updated travel warnings and alerts.
On August 4, the US issued a travel warning to Americans to “take precautions in travel to the Sinai.” It warned that “overland travel from Israel to the Sinai in particular is strongly discouraged.” That warning came soon after Israel urged its citizens to get out of the Sinai. The next day, Sinai terrorists killed 16 Egyptian border guards in an assault at the Egypt-Gaza-Israel border.
Also on Friday, the chairwoman of the House of Representatives committee that oversees foreign aid said she would block $450 million in US assistance to Egypt in light of tense relations between the two countries.
“This proposal comes to Congress at a point when the US-Egypt relationship has never been under more scrutiny, and rightly so,” the chairwoman of the Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, said in a statement. “I am not convinced of the urgent need for this assistance and I cannot support it at this time. … I have placed a hold on these funds.”
The relationship between the United States and Egypt has been rocky since the overthrow of US ally President Hosni Mubarak last year. The Egyptian government angered Washington when it cracked down on numerous democracy advocates and groups, including three US-funded nongovernmental organizations, earlier this year.
More recently, demonstrators breached the US Embassy in Cairo to protest an anti-Islam video, and some in Congress have called for cutting off aid. The United States provides Egypt with $1.55 billion annually — $250 million in economic aid and $1.3 billion in military aid.