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Amid Extremist Threats in Turkey, US to Evacuate Consulate Workers’ Families in Istanbul

Officials said the U.S. consulate in Istanbul would remain open and fully staffed despite the evacuations

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The U.S. consulate building is pictured in August 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. VOA
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October 30, 2016: Citing extremist threats in Turkey, the United States has ordered family members of the U.S. consulate staff in Istanbul to leave the country as a safety precaution.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

The State Department said the evacuation order announced Saturday was based on intelligence showing extremist groups were continuing “aggressive efforts to attack U.S. citizens in areas of Istanbul where they reside or frequent.” No specific threats were listed.

Officials said the U.S. consulate in Istanbul would remain open and fully staffed despite the evacuations. The order is limited to Istanbul and does not apply to other U.S. diplomatic posts in Turkey.

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a national state of emergency after a failed coup attempt by disgruntled military officers on July 15, and those emergency rules remain in effect. The coup attempt came two weeks after a terror attack by Islamic State suicide bombers killed 44 people and wounded 230 others at Istanbul’s international airport.

The State Department order was the second action this week seen as a warning to U.S. citizens. A travel warning issued Monday advised Americans to exercise caution while traveling in Turkey.

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The new travel advice was separate from a long-standing caution to Americans not to travel in southeastern Turkey, the site of recent attacks by Islamic State extremists and of ongoing fighting between Kurdish militants and Turkish forces. (VOA)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)