Why was the U.S. Embassy closed to Americans in Paris Friday?

Sunday's AJC recounted the experience of a Macon couple, Will Bogle and his wife, Rebecca Hill-Bogle, who walked two miles Friday night to reach the U.S. Embassy in Paris and found that it was closed.

"I was pretty disheartened that we weren’t allowed to get in, and my wife is six months pregnant, and we had to walk so long,” Bogle said. He also thought, “If you’re going to close, be closed when it is sunny outside and nobody needs you.”

At the time of publication, the State Department had not responded to the AJC's inquiries about why the embassy was closed to Americans needing shelter. Sunday morning, however, Alexander Daniels, the embassy's spokesman, sent this response:

On Friday evening, November 13th, the U.S. Embassy in Paris went into a heightened security posture as soon as we got word of the terrorist attacks. It is standard procedure at our embassy, and all U.S. Embassies worldwide, to not offer shelter to American citizens in times of security threats precisely because the embassies themselves could easily be prime targets. We do everything we can to help American citizens when they ask for assistance; our dedicated consular officials have handled more than 3,000 inquiries from American citizens since the attacks at all hours of the day or night.

We regret that Ms. Hill-Bogle and her husband experienced such a difficult evening, as did thousands of others in Paris that night. It was a traumatic night for many, one that we will never forget. We encourage Americans abroad to consult our embassy web site or the State Department web site for further information on the security situation in the country they are in. Thank you.