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East Africa Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

May 15, 2003

This Public Announcement is being issued to remind Americans of the continuing high potential for terrorist actions against U.S. citizens in east Africa. This supersedes the Public Announcement of March 13 and expires on September 12, 2003.

The Department of State believes there is a credible threat of terrorist attacks in east Africa. Travelers to east African destinations should carefully review their plans accordingly.

The threat to aircraft by terrorists using shoulder-fired missiles continues in Kenya, including Nairobi. Seaports may also be targeted. Other east African countries face similar threats.

Supporters of Al-Qaida and other extremists are active in east Africa. Americans in the region must remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and exercise caution. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, or kidnappings. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. Increased security at official U.S. facilities has led terrorists to seek softer targets such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, American commercial interests, places of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, resorts, beaches, and planes. Americans in remote areas or border regions where military or police authority is limited or non-existent could also be targets of attacks or kidnappings.

U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. They may temporarily close or suspend public services for security reviews. On occasion, the travel of official State Department personnel is restricted, and these posts may recommend that private American citizens avoid the same areas. Services to American citizens could be affected 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 to east Africa should consult the Department's travel information at the Consular Affairs Internet web site at American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, and 317-472-2328 from overseas.

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