An al Qaeda-linked cell disrupted in Egypt was planning suicide attacks on the French and U.S. embassies, the state news agency MENA reported, according to Reuters.
In light of this news and last week’s stabbing of a U.S. citizen on the embassy’s perimeter, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo alerted U.S. citizens to exercise “elevated awareness.”
“The knife attack on the Embassy's perimeter, along with weekend media reports acknowledging that Egyptian authorities have disrupted a terror cell possibly targeting Egyptian and Western interests, serve as yet another reminder of the need to exercise good situational awareness,” read a statement from the embassy, which was obtained by NBC News.
According to Reuters, authorities announced Saturday they had captured three Egyptians with al Qaeda links, saying they had been found in possession of 22 pounds of explosive materials.
"The investigations revealed that the suspects were intending to carry out terrorist bomb operations inside Egypt via suicide operations, penetrating the security cordon in front of the American and French embassies with a car bomb," MENA said, citing a source in the state security prosecutor's office, according to Reuters.
MENA said the suspects had escaped from prison in 2011, during the revolts that removed Hosni Mubarak from power.
Reuters contributed to this report.
This story was originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 2:33 PM EDT