The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens for the month of August today.

According to the alert issued by the State Department Aug. 2, it has been suggested by intelligence gathered that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations planning terrorist attacks in the region and beyond.

The alert comes shortly after the state department ordered U.S. embassies in the Middle East and North Africa to close for several days and suspend operations for security reasons until Aug. 4, state department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters Aug. 1.

Targets of interest of terrorist plots include public transportation systems and other popular ways to travel and sites to see.

The travel alert will expire Aug. 31.

The state department urged American travelers to take caution and be extra aware of their surroundings and adopt safety measures to protect themselves while travel abroad this month.

How to protect yourself while traveling abroad:

  1. Enroll in the state department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) online or at your nearest consulate or embassy to get the latest security updates and to be easily contacted by your nearest consulate and embassy in case of emergencies.
  2. Download our free Smart Traveler app, available through  iTunes or  Google Play, to have travel information at your fingertips.
  3. Double check your travel insurance and know what your travel insurance carrier covers and doesn’t cover.
  4. Know what the state department can and cannot do to protect Americans traveling outside of the U.S.
  5. Check the state department’s travel section of its website at to get updates for the Worldwide Caution, Country Specific Information, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
  6. Follow the state department on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

American travelers can also call the state department for updates in Canada and the U.S. by dialing 1-888-407-4747 or outside of North America by calling a toll line 1-202-501-4444, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Easter Daylight Time, Monday through Friday, excluding U.S. federal holidays.

The U.S. government is working closely with its partners to spoil terrorist plots. Most recently a plot to blow up a passenger train from Toronto to New York was upset by Canadian and U.S. authorities working together in April. Another terrorist plot was smashed by Canadians in Victoria, British Columbia at the beginning of July, reported the media.

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