July 26th, 2011
05:39 PM ET

State Department updates warning to Americans overseas

The State Department is warning Americans that al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests around the world, 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," the department said in its latest Worldwide Caution report, issued Tuesday.

There is an "enhanced potential" for more anti-American violence around the world, it says, in the wake of Osama bin Laden's killing by U.S. special forces in May.

Extremists, the warning says, may use "conventional or non-conventional weapons" and target both official and private interests. It points to targets like "high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and other tourist destinations both in the United States and abroad where U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during holidays."

The so-called "Arab Spring" movements in the Middle East and North Africa, meanwhile, have resulted in civil unrest and large-scale protests and the State Department warns that even "peaceful" demonstrations can turn violent, that riots can occur "with little or no warning."

A number of al Qaeda-affiliated groups and other extremists continue to operate in and around Africa, the State Department says, and it notes increased threats across East Africa.

Groups like al-Shabaab, al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Taliban elements like Lashkar-e-Tayyiba pose a threat to U.S. citizens as well, the department said in its report, the latest update since a similar warning was posted in January.

U.S. citizens considering travel by sea near the Horn of Africa or in the Southern Red Sea "should exercise extreme caution," it says, as there has been a notable increase in armed attacks, robberies and kidnappings for ransom by pirates.

In Pakistan, extremist groups continue to target U.S. and other Western citizens and interests as well as Pakistani government and military and law enforcement personnel.

The State Department urges U.S. citizens living overseas or planning to travel abroad to enroll in its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which provides updates on safety and security and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact them in emergencies.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. C.Cantu

    I believe this war is ideological and Islam is the culprit. Muslim clerics (ayatollahs, mullahs, sheiks, muftis, ullemas, imans, etc) around the world are the puppets to brainwash people's minds and transform them into irrational beasts, intolerant, full of hatred, violence, vengeance, discrimination without common sense and basic universal ethical and moral standards. Strategies to combat this trend is to force and impose a complete religious freedom among Muslim societies without the social and culture stigmas. Counteract Islam with traditional Middle Eastern Christian Faiths who had survived the continuous struggle to abolish them from Muslim countries.
    Thanks to Islam, Islamic monarchs and leaders draw their power. Muslim monarchs exert absolute power over their people, they appropriate for themselves 100% of their countries natural resources (oil), have harems, with hundreds of concubines and always have the last word on any kind of national decision. No wonder they MUST impose and extend Islam as the world leading religion.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:15 am | Reply
  2. Diane Siriani

    Great Post! If you're an U.S. expat, you should seek the advice of a professional to take a look at your tax situation. Come check out our website http://www.expatriatetaxreturns.com and we can take a look to see what you need to do. We are here for you.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply

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