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updated: 8/5/2013 4:52 PM

Al-Qaida chief's message spurred embassy closures

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Two officials say a secret message that was intercepted between al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri and his deputy in Yemen led to the shutdown of U.S. embassies.

A U.S. intelligence official and a Mideast diplomat said al-Zawahri's message was picked up several weeks ago and appeared to initially target Yemeni interests.

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The intelligence official said the message was sent to Nasir al Wuhayshi, the head of the terror network's organization, based in Yemen, that is known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sensitive issue publicly.

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