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Security Message from US State Department: Worldwide Travel Caution - UPDATE - 03 March 2016


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The Department of State is updating the Worldwide Caution with information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.

S. citizens and interests throughout the world. Current information suggests that ISIL, al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions.  Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that U.

S. citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.  This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated July 29, 2015.    

In August 2014, after the United States and regional partners commenced military action against ISIL, ISIL called on supporters to attack foreigners wherever they are.  Authorities believe there is a continued likelihood of reprisal attacks against U.

S., Western, and coalition partner interests throughout the world, especially in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Asia.

U.

S. citizens continue to be at risk of kidnappings and hostage events as ISIL, al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates attempt to finance their operations through kidnapping-for-ransom operations.  U.

S. citizens have been kidnapped and murdered by members of terrorist and violent extremist groups.  ISIL, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are particularly effective with kidnapping for ransom and are using ransom money to fund their activities.

Extremists may 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 the past year, major extremist attacks occurred in countries including Tunisia, France, Nigeria, Belgium, Turkey, Egypt, and Mali.  

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.

U.

S. citizens considering maritime travel also should review information at the websites of the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Administration, and the U.

S. Coast Guard for information related tomaritime and port security globally.  Current areas of concern include the Caribbean, Gulf of Guinea, Horn of Africa, and the Straits of Malacca and Singapore ‎as a result of maritime crimes including smuggling, human trafficking, and piracy.

The information provided below offers select regional or country examples.  Please check travel.state.gov for additional information.


EUROPE:  Credible information indicates terrorist groups such as ISIL and al-Qa’ida and its affiliates continue to plot near-term attacks in Europe.  All European countries remain vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.

European authorities continue to warn of the possibility of attacks conducted by lone individuals inspired by extremist organizations that could occur with little to no warning.  Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, aviation services, transportation systems, and public venues where people congregate.  Authorities believe there is a high likelihood terror attacks in Europe will continue as European members of ISIL return from Syria and Iraq.  European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable.

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