U.S. Embassy Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
July 27, 2011
The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update
information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence
against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. U.S. citizens
are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take
appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This replaces
the Worldwide Caution dated January 31, 2011, to provide updated
information on security threats and terrorist activities worldwide.
The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of
terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against
U.S. citizens and interests overseas. The Department of State believes
there is an enhanced potential for anti-American violence given the
death of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011. Current information suggests that
Al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks
against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia,
Africa, and the Middle East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of
tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings,
hijackings, and bombings.
Extremists may elect to use conventional or non- conventional weapons,
and target both official and private interests. Examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and other tourist
destinations both in the United States and abroad where U.S. citizens
gather in large numbers, including during holidays.
U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack
public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure. Extremists have targeted and attempted attacks on subway and rail systems, aviation, and maritime services. In the past several years, these types of attacks have occurred in cities
such as Moscow, London, Madrid, Glasgow, and New York City.
EUROPE: Current information suggests that Al-Qaida and affiliated
organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. and
Western interests in Europe. European governments have taken action to
guard against terrorist attack, and some have spoken publicly about the
heightened threat conditions. In the past several years, attacks have
been planned or occurred in various European cities.
MIDDLE EAST and NORTH AFRICA: Credible information indicates terrorist
groups also seek to continue attacks against U.S. interests in the
Middle East and North Africa. For example, Iraq remains dangerous and
unpredictable. Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout
Iraq continue. Methods of attack have included roadside improvised
explosive devices, mortars, and shootings; kidnappings still occur as
well. Security threat levels remain high in Yemen due to terrorist
activities there. The U.S. Embassy has had to close several times in
response to ongoing threats by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
U.S. citizens as well as other Westerners have been targeted for attack
in Yemen. U.S. citizens have also been the targets of numerous
terrorist attacks in Lebanon in the past (though none recently) and the
threat of anti- Western terrorist activity continues to exist there. In
Algeria, terrorist attacks occur regularly, particularly in the Kabylie
region of the country. In the past, terrorists have targeted oil
processing facilities in both Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The events of the last few months in many countries in the Middle East,
including Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria, have resulted in
civil unrest and large-scale protests and demonstrations. The situation
in Libya remains volatile and dangerous and the threat of violent
military and terrorist operations remains high, even in opposition-controlled areas. U.S. citizens are warned that demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate into violent clashes. U.S. citizens are reminded that demonstrations and riots can occur with little or no warning. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas
of demonstrations if possible and to exercise caution if within the
vicinity of a demonstration.
AFRICA: A number of Al-Qaida operatives and other extremists are
believed to be operating in and around Africa. Since the July 11, 2010
terrorist bombings in Kampala, Uganda, for which the Somalia-based, U.S.
- designated Foreign Terrorist Organization al-Shabaab has claimed
responsibility, there have been increased threats against public areas
across East Africa. The terrorist attacks of August and September 2010
against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and African Union (AU)
peacekeeping forces in Somalia, as well as the bombing of hotels and
minibuses in Somalia, highlight the vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks in East Africa and around the world. Additionally, the terrorist group Al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has declared its intention to attack
Western targets throughout the Sahel (which includes Mali, Mauritania,
and Niger). It has claimed responsibility for kidnappings, attempted kidnappings, and the murder of several Westerners throughout the region, including southern Algeria.
U.S. citizens considering travel by sea near the Horn of Africa or in
the southern Red Sea should exercise extreme caution, as there has been a notable increase in armed attacks, robberies, and kidnappings for ransom by pirates. Merchant vessels continue to be hijacked in Somali territorial waters, while
others have been hijacked as far as 1,000 nautical miles off the coast
of Somalia, Yemen, and Kenya in international waters.
The U.S. government maritime authorities advise mariners to avoid the
port of Mogadishu and to remain at least 200 nautical miles off the
coast of Somalia. In addition, when transiting around the Horn of
Africa or in the Red Sea, it is strongly recommended that vessels travel
in convoys and maintain good communications at all times. U.S. citizens
traveling on commercial passenger vessels should consult with the
shipping or cruise-ship company regarding precautions that will be taken
to avoid hijacking incidents. Commercial vessels should review the
Department of Transportation Maritime
Administration's suggested piracy countermeasures for vessels transiting
the Gulf of Aden, which can be found at
SOUTH ASIA: The U.S. government continues to receive information that
terrorist groups in South and
Central Asia may also be planning attacks in the region, possibly
against U.S. government facilities, U.S.
citizens, or U.S. interests. The presence of Al-Qaida and its
affiliates [Taliban elements, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, indigenous sectarian
groups, and other terror organizations, many of which are on the U.S.
government's list of Foreign Terror Organizations (FTOs), poses a
potential danger to U.S. citizens in the region. Terrorists and their sympathizers have demonstrated their willingness and ability to attack targets where U.S. citizens or Westerners are known to congregate or visit. Their actions may include, but are not limited to, vehicle-born explosive attacks, improvised explosive device attacks, assassinations, carjacking, rocket attacks, assaults, or kidnappings.
Such attacks have occurred in a number of South Asian states, including
Pakistan, where a number of extremist groups continue to target U.S. and
other Western citizens and interests, and Pakistani government and
military/law enforcement personnel. Suicide bombing attacks continue to
occur throughout the country on a regular basis, often targeting
government authorities such as police checkpoints and military
installations, as well as public areas such as mosques, and shopping
areas. In Afghanistan, remnants of the former Taliban regime and the
Al-Qaida terrorist network, as well as other groups hostile to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)/NATO military operations, remain
active. There is an ongoing threat of kidnapping and assassination of
U.S. citizens and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) workers throughout
the country. There is an increased threat of terrorism in India.
Terrorists have targeted public places in India frequented by
Westerners, including luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations,
markets, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas.
CENTRAL ASIA: Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic
Movement of Uzbekistan, Al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the
Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement are active in the Central Asian
region. Members of these groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and
attacked U.S. government interests in the past. Previous terrorist
attacks conducted in Central Asia have involved improvised explosive
devices, suicide bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings.
Before You Go
The Department of State encourages U.S. citizens living overseas or
planning to travel abroad to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). When you enroll in STEP, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. Enrolling will also make it easier for the Embassy to
contact you in the event of an emergency. You should remember to keep
all of your information in STEP up to date; it is particularly important
when you enroll or update your information to include a current phone
number and e-mail address.
U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of
vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. For additional information, please refer to
"A Safe Trip Abroad" on our website, http://travel.state.gov/
U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of
alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services 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. U.S. citizens abroad are
urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest
U.S. embassy or consulate.
As the Department of State continues to develop information on potential
security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its
Consular Information Program documents, such as Travel Warnings, Travel
Alerts, Country Information, and country specific Messages and Emergency
Messages, all of which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs
website at http://travel.state.gov/
Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.
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 United States and Canada or, from other countries, on a regular toll line at
1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Monday through Friday, Eastern Time (except U.S. federal holidays).