JERUSALEM (WHNT)-A major terror threat that shut down nearly two dozen U.S. embassies and consulates on Sunday has Americans across the globe keeping a very close eye on their surroundings, including one woman from right here in the Tennessee Valley.
Pulaski, Tennessee native Jenna Lipman is one of thousands of American citizens who received an urgent bulletin this weekend from the U.S. embassy in Israel. Lipman has dual citizenship in both Israel and the U.S., and lives just a few miles from the American consulate in Jerusalem, which was closed Sunday due to the terror threat.
"They [embassy officials] just told us we're on high alert," said Lipman, who spoke with WHNT News 19 from her home in Israel via Skype. "We were told to avoid big gatherings or any type of demonstration, anything like that."
Some lawmakers in Washington have said the unidentified terrorist threat is both credible and large, and looms as the biggest potential attack since September 11, 2001. Lipman said the bulletin told her to steer clear of the consulate, but she admitted curiosity got the best of her.
"I was actually in the area," said Lipman. "I had to be a little nosy and try to peek. There were people standing out front, regular security, didn't look like anything extra or any less. But in Israel we have really good security."
Lipman said she spoke with her parents in Tennessee early Sunday morning and assured them that business was running as usual in Israel. A worldwide travel alert for all U.S. citizens remains in effect, a fact that may postpone travel plans for some of Lipman's family members.
"I'm really worried because I finally convinced my sister to visit me next week," said Lipman. "We hope it wouldn't happen in Israel, hope it wouldn't happen anywhere. Thank goodness we had a lead on it before today came around and us not knowing at all."
On Sunday evening the State Department announced that 19 U.S. embassies and consulates will remain closed through next Saturday. Neither the U.S. consulate or embassy in Israel were on that list, but it was not immediately clear if either facility would actually reopen Monday.