An intelligence source has told Fox News that intercepted communications between the head of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Usama bin Laden's successor, and the leader in the Arabian Peninsula, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, prompted the closure of 22 U.S. embassies and consulates.

The White House and State Department declined to give any specifics about the nature of the threat, and Press Secretary Jay Carney only said the threat potentially goes beyond the Arabian Peninsula. Officials with the CIA and Office of the Director of National Intelligence remained tight lipped as well/
Carney said, "Our information suggests they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August."

Anthony Shaffer, with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies told Fox News, "This might just be Al Qaeda pushing our buttons to see how the U.S. responds. It's a test in my judgment, I think this is a trial balloon by Al Qaeda to see how we would react."

The U.S. government has closed 22 embassies and consulates, extending closure for 19 U.S. posts till the end of the week, and the worldwide travel alert will last till the end of August.