The New York Times claims that a threat against the U.S. consulate in Lahore was unrelated to the threat that resulted in U.S. embassies being closed across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, but I suspect that the word “related” needs to be parsed carefully. In other words, even if the threat in Pakistan was not part of the same plot, it may well be related in the sense that a growing number of militants are seizing on the opportunity to find out how easy it is to make the State Department panic.
The United States ordered staff members pulled from its consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, on Friday, citing terrorist threats, and also advised Americans against traveling to Pakistan as violence continued to rattle the country for another day.
“The Department of State ordered this drawdown due to specific threats concerning the U.S. Consulate in Lahore,” the warning said. Except for a small number of emergency personnel, the diplomats in Lahore were moved to Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, a senior Obama administration official said.
At this point, it does not appear that the threat against the consulate is related to a broader terrorism alert that prompted the State Department to close 19 diplomatic missions in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, the official said.