US State Department Issues Worldwide Caution for US Travelers
The U.S. State Department has issued a "worldwide caution" warning after President Donald Trump's announcement Wednesday the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the American embassy there.
"U.S. government facilities worldwide remain in a heightened state of alert," the warning reads. "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."
The warning went on to urge American citizens to be aware of local developments and remain in contact with U.S. embassies or consulates.
As terrorist attacks, political upheaval, and violence often take place without any warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness when traveling, it reads. In addition to concerns stemming from terrorism, travelers should be alert to the possibility of political unrest, violence, demonstrations, and criminal activities when traveling."
The State Department listed "soft targets" that may be subject to terrorist attacks, including high-profile events, hotels, places of worship, schools, parks, shopping malls, airports, and airplanes.
Countries that have specific advisories of importance include Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, North Korea, Philippines, Turkey, Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Venezuela.
Matt Lee, a diplomatic reporter for the Associated Press, noted on Twitter that such a warning was last issued in 2003 after the start of the Iraq War when the State Department believed an attack against U.S. citizens by al-Qaida was imminent.
Source: Voice of America