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.