Home / General Travel Tips /
Travel Alert: Middle East
» » View Travel Tips by Destination * » » View Travel Tips by Topic
Travel Alert: Middle East
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
MIDDLE EAST UPDATE
April 24, 2002
This Public Announcement is being updated to alert Americans to the
potential for further terrorist actions against U.S. citizens abroad and
that individuals may be planning terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and
interests in the region of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. This
Public Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement of April 10, 2002.
This Public Announcement expires on October 24, 2002.
The U.S. Government continues to receive information about potential
terrorist actions against U.S. interests abroad. There is growing concern
that individuals may be planning terrorist actions against United States
citizens and interests in the region of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian
Peninsula. U.S. citizens should exercise caution in those areas at this
time. As indicated in the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement of March
17, 2002, increased security at official U.S. facilities may lead terrorists
and their sympathizers to seek softer targets.
The Department of State is concerned about the potential for further violent
responses in the region and elsewhere due to the ongoing crisis in Israel,
the West Bank and Gaza. These have included demonstrations with
The Department of State reminds Americans to remain vigilant with regard to
their personal security and to exercise caution. As further stated in the
Department's Worldwide Caution Public Announcement of March 17, 2002, U.S.
citizens and interests abroad remain at increased risk of terrorist attacks,
including by groups with links to Usama Bin Ladin's Al-Qaida organization.
These individuals do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.
The Department of State has unconfirmed reports that American citizens may
be targeted for kidnapping or other terrorist actions. In late January
2002, an American journalist was taken hostage and murdered in Pakistan.
U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert.
Facilities have closed and will continue to temporarily close or suspend
public services as necessary to review their security posture and ensure its
adequacy. On occasion, the travel of official personnel at embassies and
consulates around the world may be restricted and these posts may recommend
that private American citizens avoid the same areas if at all possible.
Services to American citizens could be impaired if employees' movements are
restricted. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make
every effort to provide emergency services to American citizens. American
citizens in need of emergency assistance should telephone the nearest
U.S. Embassy or Consulate before visiting there.
U.S. citizens planning to travel abroad should consult the Department of
State's Public Announcements, Travel Warnings, Consular Information Sheets,
Fact Sheets, and regional travel brochures, all of which are available at
the Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov. American
citizens overseas may contact the American Citizen Services unit of the
nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate by telephone or fax for up-to-date
information on security conditions.