Middle East and North Africa Public Announcement
Issued by U.S. Department of State
Oct 01, 2003
This Public Announcement is being updated to remind U.S. citizens of
the continuing threat of anti-American violence, including terrorist actions
that may target civilians specifically in the Middle East, including the
Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. This Public
Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement issued on May 5, 2003 and
expires on March 23, 2004.
The Department of State reminds U.S. citizens traveling to the
Middle East and North Africa that there remains a potential threat to U.S.
citizens and interests in the region posed by those harboring anti-American
sentiments, including the risk of attacks by terrorist groups. The U.S.
Government remains deeply concerned about the security of U.S. citizens
overseas. U.S. citizens are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance
and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.
Credible information has indicated terrorist groups may be planning
attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East. Terrorist actions may
include suicide operations, bombings or kidnappings. While conventional
weapons such as explosive devices are a more immediate threat in many areas,
use of non-conventional weapons, including chemical or biological agents
must be considered a possible threat. Terrorists do not distinguish between
official and civilian targets. Increased security at official U.S.
facilities has led terrorists and their sympathizers to seek softer targets
such as public transportation, residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places
of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, resorts and beaches.
On occasion, the travel of official personnel at embassies and
consulates around the world is restricted because of security concerns, and
these posts may recommend that private U.S. citizens avoid the same areas if
at all possible. Services to U.S. citizens may be affected if employees'
movements are restricted. If this happens, U.S. embassies and consulates
will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. In
case office hours are reduced, U.S. citizens in need of emergency assistance
should telephone the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate before visiting in
In addition, U.S. citizens planning to travel to the Middle East or
North Africa should consult the Department of State's country-specific
Public Announcements, Travel Warnings, Consular Information Sheets
travel_warnings.html, the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement
and other information available on the Consular Affairs Internet
website at http://travel.state.gov. Up-to-date information on security
conditions can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the
U.S., or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at