Worldwide Caution Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Feb 06, 2003
This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated November 20, 2002. It is being
issued to remind U.S. citizens of the need to remain vigilant due to a
heightened threat of terrorist actions that may target civilians, including
the possibility of attacks by non-conventional weapons. It also reminds
American citizens traveling or living overseas to avoid demonstrations and
provides standard preparedness advice. This Worldwide Caution expires on
May 4, 2003.
The Department of State reminds Americans that U.S. citizens and interests
are at a heightened risk of terrorist attacks, including by groups with
links to Al-Qaida. Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to,
suicide operations, assassinations or kidnappings. While conventional
weapons such as explosive devices pose a more immediate threat in many areas
overseas, terrorist use of non-conventional weapons, including chemical or
biological agents must be considered a growing threat. These individuals
and groups have proved that they do not distinguish between official and
civilian targets. Because security and security awareness have been
elevated within the United States, terrorists may target U.S. interests
overseas. Private Americans should remain vigilant with regard to their
personal security and exercise caution.
Attacks on places of worship and schools, and the murders of private
American citizens and other westerners, demonstrate that as security is
increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists and their sympathizers
will seek softer targets. These may include facilities where Americans or
possibly other foreigners are generally known to congregate or visit, such
as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools,
hotels, outdoor recreation events or resorts and beaches. Americans should
increase their security awareness when they are at such locations, avoid
them, or switch to other locations where Americans in large numbers
generally do not congregate. There is a possibility that American citizens
may be targeted for kidnapping or assassination.
Demonstrations in many parts of the world may have an anti-American
character. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn into
confrontational situations and possibly escalate into violence. U.S.
citizens traveling or residing abroad should avoid demonstrations and take
American citizens residing overseas should follow the standard emergency
preparedness advice found on the Department's web site at:
http://travel.state.gov. A summary of the principal points follows:
--Keep vital documents such as passports, birth and
marriage records, medical, school, insurance and bank
records in one readily accessible location. Keep copies
of documents in a different secure place.
--Ensure that passports and visas are valid and that you
are registered with the U.S. embassy/consulate.
Immediate family members who are not U.S. citizens or
resident aliens ("green card" holders) should keep U.S.
visas current, and apply for visas as far in
advance of travel as possible.
--Make or update a complete inventory of your household
--If you reside in a region where political unrest, street
demonstrations or other temporary disruptions are common,
maintain an adequate supply of food, water, and necessary
medications in your home. Keep your car in good working
order with a full tank of gas.
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 for security reasons. In those instances, U.S. embassies and
consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to American
citizens. Americans are urged to 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