WASHINGTON, Tuesday - Governments around the world beefed up security on Tuesday ahead of the anniversary of the September 11 attacks and cancelled commemorative events as Washington warned citizens abroad of the threat of new terrorist strikes.
US military jets were patrolling the skies above New York and Washington on a 24-hour basis and nuclear plants, airports, bridges, monuments, shopping centers and public buildings were placed under close watch.
The yellow alert put in place shortly after the attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania â€” denoting a â€œsignificant riskâ€ of attack â€” remains in force, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
But the White House emphasised that authorities had not yet noticed any credible threats against US interests in the build-up to Wednesdayâ€™s anniversary.
In Asia, US officials were forced to shut down diplomatic missions in Indonesia and Malaysia, while officials in Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and elsewhere bolstered security around US installations.
The US ambassador to Indonesia said a threat linked to Osama bin Ladenâ€™s al-Qaeda network had prompted officials to close the embassy in Jakarta, the consulate general in Surabaya and the American Club in Jakarta.
But Indonesian authorities said they were not aware of any specific threat and had not been consulted prior to the US decision.
In Malaysia, a â€œcredible and specific threatâ€ forced officials to close the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur, hours after they vowed to stay open.
Ceremonies planned in Jakarta and the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh in honor of the 3,034 victims of last yearâ€™s suicide plane strikes were cancelled due to security concerns.
The announcements came as the United States warned its nationals living abroad to be extremely cautious during the period before and after Wednesdayâ€™s anniversary, saying they could be targets for kidnapping or assassination.
â€œThe US government has continued to receive credible indications that extremist groups and individuals are planning terrorist actions against US interests,â€ the State Department said in a statement.
â€œSuch actions may be imminent and include suicide operations. We remind American citizens to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.â€
European intelligence services also warned citizens to be on their guard against possible attacks.
World Remembers September 11