Issued by US Department of State
Jan 12, 2004
This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated December 21, 2003. It is being issued to remind U.S. citizens of the continuing threat that they may be targets of terrorist attacks even though the homeland security threat level has returned to Yellow (Elevated) from Orange (High). This Worldwide Caution expires on July 9, 2004.
The U.S. Government remains deeply concerned about the security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens are cautioned to maintain a high level of vigilance, to remain alert and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. We are seeing increasing indications that Al-Qaida is preparing to strike U.S. interests abroad.
Al-Qaida and its associated organizations have struck in the Middle East in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and in Europe in Istanbul, Turkey. We therefore assess that other geographic locations could be venues for the next round of attacks. We expect Al-Qaida will strive for new attacks designed to be more devastating than the September 11 attack, possibly involving nonconventional weapons such as chemical or biological agents. We also cannot rule out that Al-Qaida will attempt a second catastrophic attack within the U.S.
Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, hijackings, bombings or kidnappings. These may also involve commercial aircraft and maritime interests, and threats to include conventional weapons, such as explosive devices. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. These may include facilities where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, including residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events or resorts and beaches. U.S. citizens should remain in a heightened state of personal security awareness when attendance at such locations is unavoidable.
U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time 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. Americans abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
As the Department 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, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In 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 U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.