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 12, 2010, 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. U.S. citizens are reminded that
demonstrations and rioting can occur with little or no warning. Current
information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations 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, and locales where U.S. citizens gather in large
numbers, including during holidays.
U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack
public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.
Extremists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well
as aviation and maritime services. In the past several years, attacks
have occurred in cities such as London, Madrid, Glasgow, and Moscow.
Credible information indicates terrorist groups seek to continue attacks
against U.S. interests in the Middle East and North Africa. For
example, Iraq remains dangerous and unpredictable. Attacks against
military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue. Methods of
attack have included roadside improvised explosive devices, mortars, and
shootings; kidnappings still occur as well. Security threat levels
remain high in Yemen due to terrorist activities there. The U.S.
Embassy has had to close several times in response to ongoing threats by
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). U.S. citizens have been the
targets of numerous terrorist attacks in Lebanon in the past and the
threat of anti-Western terrorist activity continues to exist there. In
Algeria, terrorist attacks occur regularly, particularly in the Kabylie
region of the country. In the past, terrorists have targeted oil
processing facilities in both Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
A number of al-Qaida operatives and other extremists are believed to be
operating in and around Africa. Since the July 11, 2010, terrorist
bombings in Kampala, Uganda, for which the Somalia-based,
U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization al-Shabaab has claimed
responsibility, there have been increased threats against public areas
across East Africa. The terrorist bombing in two public venues in
Kampala, which resulted in 74 deaths, highlights the vulnerabilities of
large public gatherings in East Africa and around the world.
Additionally, the terrorist group, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb
(AQIM) has declared its intention to attack Western targets throughout
the Sahel, which includes Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, and has claimed
responsibility for kidnappings, attempted kidnappings, and the murder of
U.S. citizens considering travel by sea near the Horn of Africa or in
the southern Red Sea should exercise extreme caution, as there has been
a notable increase in armed attacks, robberies and kidnappings for
ransom at sea by pirates. Merchant vessels continue to be hijacked in
Somali territorial waters, while others have been hijacked as far as
1,000 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, Yemen, and Kenya in
The U.S. government maritime authorities advise mariners to avoid the
port of Mogadishu, and to remain at least 200 nautical miles off the
coast of Somalia. In addition, when transiting around the Horn of
Africa or in the Red Sea, it is strongly recommended that vessels travel
in convoys, and maintain good communications at all times. U.S.
citizens traveling on commercial passenger vessels should consult with
the shipping or cruise ship company regarding precautions that will be
taken to avoid hijacking incidents. Commercial vessels should review
the Department of Transportation Maritime Administration's
orn_of_africa_piracy.htm> suggested piracy countermeasures for vessels
transiting the Gulf of Aden.
The U.S. government continues to receive information that terrorist
groups in South and Central Asia may be planning attacks in the region,
possibly against U.S. government facilities, U.S. citizens, or U.S.
interests. The presence of al-Qaida, Taliban elements, Lashkar-e-Taiba,
indigenous sectarian groups, and other terror organizations, many of
which are on the U.S. government's list of foreign terror organizations,
poses a potential danger to U.S. citizens in the region. Terrorists
and their sympathizers have demonstrated their willingness and
capability to attack targets where Americans or Westerners are known to
congregate or visit. Their actions may include, but are not limited to,
vehicle-born explosives, improvised explosive devices, assassinations,
carjacking, rocket attacks, assaults, or kidnappings.
Some examples include Pakistan where a number of extremist groups
continue to target U.S. citizens and other Western interests and
Pakistani officials. Suicide bombing attacks continue to occur
throughout the country on a regular basis, often targeting government
authorities such as police checkpoints and military installations, as
well as public areas such as mosques, and shopping areas. In
Afghanistan, remnants of the former Taliban regime and the al-Qaida
terrorist network, as well as other groups hostile to International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF)/NATO military operations, remain
active. There is an ongoing threat to kidnap and assassinate U.S.
citizens and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) workers throughout the
country. In India there is a continuing threat of terrorism as attacks
have randomly targeted public places frequented by Westerners, including
luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas,
mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas.
Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of
Uzbekistan, al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan
Islamic Movement are active in the Central Asian region. Members of
these groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and have attacked U.S.
government interests in the past. Previous terrorist attacks conducted
in Central Asia have involved improvised explosive devices, suicide
bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings.
Before You Go
U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to register with
the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's
travel registration <https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/>
website so that they can obtain updated information on travel and
security. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly
with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, U.S.
citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in
case of emergency.
U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of
vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to
bolster their personal security. For additional information, please
refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad
U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of
alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend
public services to assess their security posture. In those instances,
U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide
emergency services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens abroad are urged to
monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S.
Embassy or Consulate.
As the Department of State continues to develop information on any
potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible
threat information through its Consular Information Program
documents, such as Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts
<http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html> as well as
addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date
information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free
in the United States and Canada or, outside the United States and Canada
on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available
from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, Eastern Time (except U.S.
AIT encourages you, as an American living or traveling in Taiwan, to
register through the State Department's travel registration website,https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/
<https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/> Registration is a
voluntary way of telling us that you, as an American citizen, are in
Taiwan, whether for a long-term stay or for a short visit. In the event
of an emergency, we use registration information to communicate with
you. This could include a family emergency in which relatives in the
United States request that AIT contact you.
The Consular Section of AIT's Taipei and Kaohsiung Offices can be
reached during regular business hours (M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) by
telephone at (02) 2162-2000 and (07) 238-7744; by fax at (02) 2162-2239
and (07) 238-5237; and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
<mailto:email@example.com> . After hours, in case of emergency, a
duty officer can be reached by calling the AIT switchboard at (02)
2162-2000. The AIT Taipei office is located at No.7, Lane 134, Sec. 3,
Xinyi Rd., Da'an District, Taipei City 10659. The address for AIT
Kaohsiung is: 5th Floor, No.2, ChungCheng 3rd Rd., Xin-Xing District,
Kaohsiung City 80052.