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The new U.S consolate is seen after the opening ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday June 12, 2003. The new American consulate which opened today is highly secure. (AP Photo/Osman Orsal)

ISIS has issued a threat aimed at the families of US consulate staff in Istanbul


The State Department ordered family members of employees at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to evacuate over the weekend due to a credible ISIS-related threat, according to CNN.

"The Department of State made this decision based on security information indicating extremist groups are continuing aggressive efforts to attack U.S. citizens in areas of Istanbul where they reside or frequent," the Turkey travel warning stated. 

State Department officials told CNN that while the Turkish government upped their law enforcement efforts, the U.S. government determined the threat was "credible, yet general enough" to order families to leave. 

This weekend's warning went beyond the ones previously issued, which urged Americans to avoid the southeast region of Turkey. 

One U.S. official told CNN the ISIS-related threat was "extraordinarily specific."

It is unclear how may families were evacuated in response to Saturday's warning, but the State Department noted that the consulate is still open and fully staffed. 

Saturday's warning to U.S. citizens about traveling in Turkey was strongly worded: 

"Attacks in Turkey at major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centers, places of worship, and transportation hubs, including aviation services, metros, buses, bridges, bus terminals and sea transport, could occur. Extremists have also threatened to kidnap and assassinate Westerners and U.S. citizens."

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