The White House held a high-level meeting on Saturday on terror concerns that prompted Washington to issue a worldwide travel alert and order its embassies across the Islamic world closed temporarily.

The meeting was held as Interpol issued a global security alert after hundreds of militants were set free in jailbreaks linked to the al-Qaeda terror network, and as suicide bombers killed nine near the Indian consulate in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.

Those attending the meeting, chaired by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, included Secretary of State John Kerry, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Also present were the heads of the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency, as well as the US ambassador to the United Nations, the White House said.

President Barack Obama did not attend but was briefed afterwards.

?Early this week, the President instructed his National Security team to take all appropriate steps to protect the American people in light of a potential threat occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula,? the statement said. (REUTERS)

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