When the story first broke yesterday evening, the number was in the teens. By the time this CNN story was put online it was 21. As I sit down to write this, they’ve increased it to 22. It’s the number of US embassies being shut down all across parts of Asia, North Africa and the Middle East in the wake of what are being described as imminent and credible threats from al Qaeda.

A global travel alert issued Friday by the State Department warned al Qaeda may launch attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond in coming weeks, a threat that prompted Sunday’s closure of 21 embassies and consulates…

Various Western targets — not just those tied to the United States — are under threat, according to two U.S. officials.

According to three sources, the United States has information that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula members are in the final stages of planning for an unspecified attack.