U.S. State Department Issues Worldwide Travel Warning
The U.S. State Department recently released a statement cautioning Americans traveling abroad of potential terror attacks in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East by al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups.
According to the report published on U.S. State Government website, The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.
U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated February 19, 2013, to provide updated information on security threats and terrorist activities worldwide.
The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. Current information suggests that al-Qaeda, its affiliated organizations, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings.
Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests. Examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, shopping malls, and other tourist destinations both in the United States and abroad where U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during holidays.
In early August 2013, the Department of State instructed certain U.S. embassies and consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations August 4 through August 10 because of security information received. The U.S. government took these precautionary steps out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may have planned to visit our installations.
U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.
Extremists have targeted and attempted attacks on subway and rail systems, aviation, and maritime services. In the past, these types of attacks have occurred in cities such as Moscow, London, Madrid, Glasgow, and New York City.
“Extremists may elect to use conventional or nonconventional weapons, and target both official and private interests,” the department said yesterday. Potential targets may include high-profile sports events, residences, businesses, hotels, clubs, restaurants, schools, places of worship, shopping malls and tourist destinations where Americans congregate.
Two U.S. officials familiar with the warning said that while it’s a routine renewal of the department’s worldwide caution, it also reflects mounting intelligence that suggests Islamic terrorist groups loosely affiliated with what remains of al-Qaeda’s core leadership in Pakistan may be planning a new series of attacks against Western targets.
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