The State Department is closing embassies in response to a threat from al Qaeda, according to the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said the threat was behind the State Department’s announcement on Thursday that it would close a number of embassies and consulates around the world out of unspecified “security concerns.”

“It’s my understanding that it is Al Qaeda linked, all right? And the threat emanates in the Middle East and in Central Asia,” Royce said Friday on CNN.

Already, the posts in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar have put out messages informing the public that they will be closed on Sunday, which is a workday in many Muslim countries.

NBC News had previously reported U.S. officials had mentioned al Qaeda in regard to the threat.