Worldwide Alert Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Mar 20, 2003

This Public Announcement is being updated to alert Americans to an increased potential for anti-American violence, including terrorist actions against U.S. citizens, as a result of the military action in Iraq. The U.S. Government remains deeply concerned about the security of Americans overseas. American citizens are reminded that it is more important than ever to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This Worldwide Caution supersedes that issued on February 6, 2003 and expires on July 20, 2003.

As a result of military action in Iraq, there is a potential for retaliatory actions to be taken against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. Public demonstrations carry the potential for precipitating violence directed at American citizens, symbols associated with the United States or other U.S. and western interests.

The threat to U.S. citizens includes the risk of attacks by terrorist groups. Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, bombings or kidnappings. Possible threats include conventional weapons such as explosive devices or non-conventional weapons, including chemical or biological agents. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. These may include facilities where Americans and other foreigners congregate or visit, such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events or resorts and beaches. U.S. citizens should increase their security awareness at such locations, avoid them, or switch to other locations where Americans in large numbers generally do not congregate.

U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert and some have drawn down their dependents and/or personnel. These facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time for security reasons. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to American citizens. Monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest American embassy or consulate.

As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to Americans overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, U.S. travelers can get up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 in the U.S. and outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at l 317-472-2328.

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