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Emergency Messages for U.S. Citizens - Archive

(September 25, 2013) - Worldwide Caution

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 February 19, 2013, 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. Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida, its affiliated organizations, and other terrorist groups 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, shopping malls, and other tourist destinations both in the United States and abroad where U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during holidays.

In early August 2013, the Department of State instructed certain U.S. embassies and consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations August 4 through August 10 because of security information received. The U.S. government took these precautionary steps out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may have planned to visit our installations.

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, these types of attacks have occurred in cities such as Moscow, London, Madrid, Glasgow, and New York City.

EUROPE: Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida, its affiliated organizations, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. and Western interests in Europe. Additionally, there is a continuing threat in Europe from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis. On February 1, 2013, an individual detonated a bomb at a side entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, killing one Embassy guard and injuring others. The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi/Cephesi or DHKP/C) claimed responsibility on its website for the attack. The DHKP/C has stated its intention to commit further attacks against the United States, NATO, and Turkey. In May 2013, in London, two Islamic extremists, unaffiliated with any group, killed a British soldier. The reported reason for the attack was to avenge the deaths of Muslims killed by British soldiers. European governments have taken action to guard against terrorist attacks, and some have made official declarations regarding heightened threat conditions. In the past several years, organized extremist attacks have been planned or carried out in various European countries. On February 5, the Bulgarian government announced its judgment that Hezbollah was responsible for a July 2012 terrorist attack in Burgas which resulted in the deaths of five tourists and a bus driver.

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. The U.S. government remains highly concerned about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests. Terrorist organizations continue to be active in Yemen, including al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Security threat levels remain high in Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. In September 2012, a mob of Yemeni protestors attacked the U.S. Embassy compound. 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. There are a number of extremist groups operating in Lebanon, including Hezbollah, a group designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization. Iraq is experiencing levels of violence not seen since 2007, and al-Qa’ida in Iraq is increasingly resurgent. Although U.S. interests have not been targeted directly, the threat of attacks against U.S. citizens, including kidnapping and terrorist violence, continues, even in Baghdad’s International Zone. Bahrain continues to see bouts of sectarian violence, with Shi’a insurgents conducting IED attacks against Bahraini government and security facilities. Al-Qa’ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its affiliates are active throughout North Africa. In Algeria, terrorists sporadically attack Westerners and Algerian government targets, particularly in the Kabylie region, and near Algeria’s borders with Libya and Mali. In January 2013, terrorists attacked a natural gas facility at In Amenas resulting in the deaths of dozens, including three U.S. citizens. Terrorists have also targeted oil processing plants in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The In Amenas attack was staged from southern Libya, which has become a haven for regional terrorist organizations that present a threat to U.S. interests in Tripoli. Libyan security is largely provided by militias that occasionally fight one another, and that have been unable to protect U.S. persons from past attacks, such as the September 2012 attack against the U.S. Temporary Mission Facility in Benghazi that led to the deaths of four U.S. citizens, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. Some elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States. U.S. citizens should remain cautious and be aware that there may be a more aggressive focus by the Iranian government on terrorist activity against U.S citizens. Continuing political and social unrest in Egypt has led to large demonstrations that have turned violent. Westerners and U.S. citizens have occasionally been caught in the middle of clashes and demonstrations. On June 28, a U.S. citizen was killed during a demonstration in Alexandria. On May 9, a private U.S. citizen was attacked with a knife outside the U.S. Embassy after being asked whether he was an American. Political and social unrest in Tunisia has also led to large demonstrations that occasionally turn violent. In September 2012, a large group of demonstrators breached the U.S. Embassy compound in Tunis, causing significant damage.

No part of Syria should be considered immune from violence, and throughout the country the potential exists for unpredictable and hostile acts, including kidnappings, sniper assaults, large and small-scale bombings, and chemical attacks, as well as arbitrary arrest, detention, and torture. The conflict in Syria has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths with many thousands wounded and over one million displaced persons.

AFRICA: A number of al-Qa’ida operatives and other extremists are believed to be operating in and around Africa. In February 2012, the emir of U.S-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization al-Shabaab and al-Qa’ida's leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, announced the alliance of the two organizations. Al-Shabaab has taken credit for the attack on the shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya on September 21, 2013, which claimed the lives of over 60 people and injured over a hundred more, including U.S. citizens. Al-Shabaab assassinations, suicide bombings, hostage taking, and indiscriminate attacks in civilian-populated areas are also frequent in Somalia. Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia have demonstrated their intent to attack Somali authorities, the African Union Mission in Somalia, and non-military targets such as international donor offices and humanitarian assistance providers. Additionally, the terrorist group al-Qa’ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has declared its intention to attack Western targets throughout the Sahel (an area that stretches across the African continent between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea to include Senegal, Mali, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea). It has claimed responsibility for kidnappings, attempted kidnappings, and the murder of several Westerners throughout the region, including southern Algeria. AQIM-related threats against Westerners in Mali and elsewhere increased following the initiation of the U.S.-supported, French-led intervention in northern and central Mali, where the security environment remains fluid. In neighboring Niger, terrorists formerly associated with AQIM conducted suicide attacks targeting a French mining facility and a Nigerien military compound in Agadez in late May. The loosely organized group of factions known as Boko Haram continues to carry out significant improvised explosive device and suicide bombings in northern Nigeria, mainly targeting government forces and innocent civilians; attacks have continued at a high rate since their attack on the UN building in the capital of Abuja in 2011. Boko Haram and splinter group Ansaru have also claimed responsibility for the kidnappings of several Western workers and tourists, both in northern Nigeria and northern Cameroon; Ansaru has murdered virtually all of its hostages in the face of real or perceived rescue attempts, while Boko Haram allegedly received a large ransom payment for the release of a French family abducted near a tourist park in northern Cameroon. In 2013, extremists have also targeted both Nigerians and foreign nationals involved in polio eradication efforts in northern Nigeria. Extremists attacked a school in northeast Nigeria, killing over 40 students, and have called for further attacks on educational institutions. Several agencies that have partnered with the U.S. government in the field of public health development in northern Nigeria have curtailed their activities in response to these threats. The president of Nigeria declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states in response to activities of extremist groups.

U.S. citizens considering travel by sea near the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Guinea, or in the southern Red Sea should exercise extreme caution, as there have been armed attacks, robberies, and kidnappings for ransom by pirates. The threat of hijacking to merchant vessels continues to exist in Somali territorial waters and as far as 1,000 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, Yemen, and Kenya in international waters. There has also been a recent rise in piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea, including hijackings.

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, the Gulf of Guinea, 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 Horn of Africa Piracy page for information on maritime advisories, self-protection measures, and naval forces in the region. Review our International Maritime Piracy Fact Sheet for information on piracy in the southern Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean.

SOUTH ASIA: The U.S. government continues to receive information that terrorist groups in South 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-Qa’ida, Taliban elements, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, indigenous sectarian groups, and other terror organizations, many of which are on the U.S. government's list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, poses a potential danger to U.S. citizens in the region. Terrorists and their sympathizers have demonstrated their willingness and ability to attack locations where U.S. citizens or Westerners are known to congregate or visit. Their actions may include, but are not limited to, vehicle-borne explosive attacks, improvised explosive device attacks, assassinations, carjackings, 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. U.S. citizens are increasingly targeted for kidnapping. No part of Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence, and throughout the country the potential exists for hostile acts, either targeted or random, against U.S. and other Western nationals at any time. Elements of the Taliban and the al-Qa’ida terrorist network, as well as other insurgent groups hostile to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, remain active. Insurgents continue to target various U.S. and Afghan government facilities in Kabul City, including the June 25, 2013 attack against a U.S. government facility adjacent to the Afghan Presidential Palace and U.S. Embassy. There is an ongoing threat of kidnapping and assassination of U.S. citizens and non-governmental organization (NGO) workers throughout the country. India has experienced terrorist and insurgent activities that may affect U.S. citizens directly or indirectly. Anti-Western terrorist groups, some of which are on the U.S. government's list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, have been active in India, including Islamist extremist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e Tayyiba. 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.

Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and other countries experienced civil unrest, large scale protests and demonstrations following the release of anti-Islamic videos and cartoons in September 2012.

CENTRAL ASIA: Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al-Qa’ida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement remain active in Central Asia. These groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S. government interests. 

Before You Go

The Department of State urges 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."

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, including Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, Country Specific Information, and Emergency and Security Messages, all of which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov. Stay up to date by bookmarking our website or downloading our free Smart Traveler iPhone or Google Play App for travel and timely security information at your fingertips. 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).

(January 24, 2012) - Worldwide Caution

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 July 26, 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.  Current information suggests that al-Qaida, its affiliated organizations, and other terrorist 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, its affiliated organizations and other terrorist groups 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.  U.S. military forces have withdrawn as of December 31, 2011 but the threat of attacks against U.S. citizens, including kidnapping and terrorist violence, is expected to continue.  Methods of attack have included roadside improvised explosive devices, mortars, and shootings.  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. Some elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States.  U.S. citizens should remain cautious and be aware that there may be a more aggressive focus by the Iranian government on terrorist activity against U.S citizens.

The events of last year's Arab Spring, which affected many countries in the Middle East including Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria, have resulted in civil unrest and large-scale protests and demonstrations.  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 October 2011 against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces in Somalia, as well as the grenade attacks against a nightclub and bus stop in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, 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. In Nigeria, a group known as Boko Haram claimed responsibility for an August 26, 2011, suicide bombing attack on the United Nations Headquarters in Abuja that killed 25 people and wounded more than 120.

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 http://www.marad.dot.gov/news_room_landing_page/horn_of_africa_piracy/horn_of_africa_piracy.htm

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-Taiba, 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, carjackings, 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.  Kidnappings of U.S. citizens are also on the increase.  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.

EAST ASIA: Regional and international terrorist organizations remain active in the region and have attacked U.S. interests in the past.

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Before You Go
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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, including Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, Country Specific Information, and Emergency Messages, all of which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov/.  Stay up to date by bookmarking our website or downloading our free Smart Traveler iPhone App for travel information at your fingertips.  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).

(October 11, 2011) - Worldwide Travel Alert

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens of the potential for anti-U.S. actions following the disruption of a plot, linked to Iran, to commit a significant terrorist act in the United States. This Travel Alert expires on January 11, 2012.

An Iranian-born U.S. citizen, working on behalf of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force – designated by the Treasury Department in 2007 for its support of terrorism – is suspected of conspiring to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States. The U.S. government assesses that this Iranian-backed plan to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador may indicate a more aggressive focus by the Iranian Government on terrorist activity against diplomats from certain countries, to include possible attacks in the United States.

U.S. citizens residing and traveling abroad should review the Department's Worldwide Caution and other travel information when making decisions concerning their travel plans and activities while abroad. U.S. citizens are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the embassy/consulates to contact them in case of emergency.

Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

(October 1, 2011) – Worldwide Travel Alert

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for retaliation against U.S. citizens and interests following the deaths of key figures in the terrorist group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula on September 30. This Travel Alert expires on November 30, 2011.

On 30 September, U.S. and Yemeni government officials confirmed that dual U.S.-Yemeni citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, the external operations leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was killed in Yemen. Open source information also indicates that U.S. citizen and AQAP propagandist Samir Khan was killed along with him. Awlaki played a key role in advancing AQAP plots targeting the United States.

The death of Awlaki, in the near term, could provide motivation for anti-American attacks worldwide from individuals or groups seeking to retaliate against U.S. citizens or interests because of this action. In the past Awlaki and other members of AQAP have called for attacks against the United States, U.S. citizens and U.S. interests. Awlaki's standing as a preeminent English-language advocate of violence could potentially trigger anti-American acts worldwide to avenge his death.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the embassy/consulates to contact them in case of emergency.

Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis,” please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Emergencies and Crisis link at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1212.html

(May 2, 2011) – Worldwide Travel Alert

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence following recent counter- terrorism activity in Pakistan. Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. This Travel Alert expires August 1, 2011. 

U.S. Embassy operations in affected areas will continue to the extent possible under the Constraints of any evolving security situation. 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.

Media coverage of local events may cause family and friends to become concerned for their loved ones traveling and residing abroad. We urge U.S. citizens to keep in regular contact with family and friends. U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), to receive the latest travel updates and information and to obtain updated information on travel and security issues. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

Travel information is also available at www.travel.state.gov. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

For information on "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis," please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs' website at www.travel.state.gov. For further information on specific countries, U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information pages, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings at www.travel.state.gov as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs' page on Facebook as well.

All U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Italy are encouraged to register either online at https://travelregistration.state.gov or by phone or in person directly with the U.S. Embassy in Rome or the Consulates General in Milan, Florence, and Naples. Registering gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Italy and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency.

U.S. Embassy Consular Section in Rome is located at Via Vittorio Veneto, 121. The telephone number is 06-4674-1. Our website is: http://italy.usembassy.gov

U.S. Consulates General in Italy are located in:

NAPLES: Piazza della Repubblica; telephone number: 081-583-8111

MILAN: Via Principe Amedeo, 2/10; telephone number: 02-290-351

FLORENCE: Lungarno A. Vespucci, 38; telephone number: 055-266-951

U.S. Consular Agents in Italy are located in :

GENOA: Via Dante, 2
PALERMO: Via Vaccarini, 1

VENICE: Marco Polo Airport, General Aviation Terminal, Viale Galileo Galilei, 30.

(December 20, 2010) – Redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad

The Department of State is pleased to announce the introduction of a redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA, or Form FS-240).  The redesigned CRBA, which is an official record confirming that a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents acquired U.S. citizenship at birth and serves as proof of citizenship, has been updated with a variety of state-of-the-art security features to help prevent fraud and identity theft.

Beginning January 18, 2011, overseas posts will still document the citizenship of children born overseas to U.S.-citizen parents, but the CRBAs will be printed at our passport agencies in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and New Orleans, Louisiana, using the information provided by overseas posts.  By centralizing production and eliminating the distribution of controlled blank stock throughout the world, we will help ensure uniform quality and lessen the possibility of fraud.
Additionally, the Department will no longer issue the DS-1350 Certification of Report of Birth Abroad.  Instead, the Department will simply provide new FS-240s in response to requests for additional, replacement, or amended CRBAs.

In order to upgrade our systems for this change, the Embassy and Consulates General are suspending CRBA adjudication from January 1 through January 18, 2011.  CRBA applications submitted during that time will be adjudicated after January 18.

(October 3, 2010) – Travel Alert Europe

The U.S. State Department alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for terrorist attacks in Europe.  Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks.  European governments have taken action to guard against a terrorist attack and some have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions.

Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests.  U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.  Terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services.  U.S. citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling.

We continue to work closely with our European allies on the threat from international terrorism, including al-Qa’ida.  Information is routinely shared between the U.S. and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.

We recommend U.S. citizens register their travel plans with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration website.   Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from elsewhere in the world.

For information on general crime and security issues, U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country-Specific Information as well as the Worldwide Caution , which can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website . For further information on safety tips while traveling abroad, U.S. citizens should also consult the following website: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/tips_1232.html

As the Department of State 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, such as Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as Country Information.   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, outside the United States and Canada 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). 

All U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Italy are encouraged to register either online at https://travelregistration.state.gov or by phone or in person directly with the U.S. Embassy in Rome or the Consulates General in Milan, Florence, and Naples. Registering gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Italy and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency.

U.S. Embassy Consular Section in Rome is located at Via Vittorio Veneto, 121. The telephone number is 06-4674-1. Our website is: www.italy.usembassy.gov

U.S. Consulates General in Italy are located in :

NAPLES: Piazza della Repubblica; telephone number: 081-583-8111

MILAN : Via Principe Amedeo, 2/10; telephone number: 02-290-351

FLORENCE : Lungarno A. Vespucci, 38; telephone number: 055-266-951

U.S. Consular Agents in Italy are located in :

GENOA: Via Dante, 2
PALERMO: Via Vaccarini, 1
VENICE: Marco Polo Airport, General Aviation Terminal, Viale Galileo Galilei, 30

This Travel Alert expires on January 31, 2011.

 

(October 20, 2009) h1n1

This Warden Message is being issued to update U.S. citizens on measures taken in Italy to address the H1N1 Influenza pandemic and to advise U.S. citizens on the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of H1N1 Influenza:

H1N1 (sometimes called “swine flu”) is a novel influenza virus causing illness in people. This virus was first detected in people in Mexico in March 2009 and then in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of 2009 H1N1 flu was underway.

Italy has so far examined 10,018 suspected cases of swine flu, and 2,557 have been confirmed as caused by the A/H1N1 virus from Mexico. The Italian Labor, Social Policy and Health Ministry has set up a crisis coordination center, which is issuing guidelines to Italy’s Regions (responsible for most public health care delivery) and border authorities, drawing on current information and on procedures established in Italy’s avian/pandemic influenza plan. The Ministry is also preparing a vaccination development strategy and will distribute the vaccine to the various regions in Italy between October 15- November 15 2009 to cover up to 40% of the Italian population. Ten million doses of the drug Zanamivir (Relenza ) and 60 thousand doses of the drug Oseltamivir (Tamiflu ) are ready in Italy. In addition, around 30 million doses of Tamiflu are available in a longer-lasting powder form, and will be turned into capsules by the Military Pharmaceutical Institute in Florence. The GOI’s +39 1500 telephone help line , which people can call to ask for information on the swine flu situation, is taking calls from 8 am to 8 pm daily. 10,000 calls have already been received, and Italy’s health officials are discussing expanding its capacity. Italy’s Health Ministry will be issuing press releases twice daily, at noon and 6:00 p.m. to help update citizens on the swine flu situation.

Due to legal restrictions and a lack of sufficient resources, the U.S. Embassy in Rome and the Consulates General in Milan, Florence, and Naples are not in a position to provide private citizens with pandemic- related supplies, medications or medical treatment, including vaccines, and cannot provide specific medical advice.  Questions and concerns about influenza or other illnesses should be directed to a medical professional.  A list of local hospitals and doctors can be found on our website at http://www.italy.usembassy.gov/acs/professionals/doctors/doctors-main.asp

As a precautionary measure, some guidelines can be taken to prevent the spread of the disease and to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza:

- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after your use it.

- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food

If you are quarantined or placed in isolation due to 2009-H1N1 influenza, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Rome or the Consulates General in Milan, Florence, and Naples at the numbers below and let us know, so we can monitor your situation.  However, please be aware that the Embassy/Consulates General cannot demand your immediate release if you have been detained or quarantined in accordance with local public health and legal authorities.

Guidance for Passive Surveillance

- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals maintain a distance of six feet from someone who appears ill

- Avoid closed, crowded settings

For up-to-date information on measures the U.S. Government is taking and developments to date please go to www.flu.gov

Food Supplies:

It is each person’s responsibility to ensure that his or her family is maintaining an adequate supply of food for an emergency.

Food stored by families should primarily consist of non-perishable items that do not require refrigeration, or water for preparation, and should include adequate amounts of food for family members on special diets, such as the elderly or infants on formula. U.S. citizens might consider canned food, freeze- dried meals and energy bars, all of which can provide necessary nutrition in an emergency, are not exorbitantly expensive, and have a shelf-life measured in years. American citizens with existing consumables shipments or other large stocks of food supplies should practice “first in, first out” maintenance by eating the oldest stocks of food in their supply first.

Top priority for vaccinating against swine flu, according to the CDC:

H1N1 vaccine doses will be prioritized to those in high-risk categories (see CDC recommendations below).

Here are the top priority for vaccinating against swine flu , according to the CDC:

  • Pregnant Women. There’s the aforementioned complications for pregnant women, and there is the thought that they’ll pass on their immunity to their unborn.
  • Families of Babies Under 6 Months. Because tiny babies do not get shots (usually), other members of the family should be vaccinated to protect them.
  • All Kids 6 months to 24 years. So far, it seems that toddlers, adolescents, and teens are more susceptible to swine flu than seasonal flu. Plus, if they go to school outside the home, they are at risk in those germ-infested buildings.
  • Adults age 25 through 64 who have underlying medical conditions.
  • All Health Care Workers. Those in the health care field could spread the virus, but the bigger problem is that if they’re sick, they won’t be able to care for the rest of us.

For more information on how to prepare for a severe pandemic, please see the State Department "Pandemic Influenza Fact Sheet" and "Options During a Pandemic" flyer located on www.travel.state.gov.  Detailed information about 2009-H1N1 influenza can be found on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/, the U.S. Government's federal influenza website at http://www.flu.gov, and the World Health Organization website at http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html.  

All U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Italy are encouraged to register either online at https://travelregistration.state.gov or by phone or in person directly with the U.S. Embassy in Rome or the Consulates General in Milan, Florence, and Naples. Registering gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Italy and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency.

U.S. Embassy Consular Section in Rome is located at Via Vittorio Veneto, 121. The telephone number is 06-4674-1. Our website is: www.italy.usembassy.gov

U.S. Consulates General in Italy are located in :

NAPLES: Piazza della Repubblica; telephone number: 081-583-8111

MILAN : Via Principe Amedeo, 2/10; telephone number: 02-290-351

FLORENCE : Lungarno A. Vespucci, 38; telephone number: 055-266-951

U.S. Consular Agents in Italy are located in :

GENOA: Via Dante, 2
PALERMO: Via Vaccarini, 1
VENICE: Marco Polo Airport, General Aviation Terminal, Viale Galileo Galilei, 30

 

(July 2, 2009) Upcoming Demonstrations Regarding 4th of July and G8 Summit

American citizens are advised to be especially attentive and alert from now through the Fourth of July and the G-8 Summit in Italy.  Please exercise caution as you travel in Rome and around Italy.  Several demonstrations are planned over the next ten days that may affect U.S. interests or those of the G-8 countries.

On July 4, there will be a large demonstration at the U.S. military base in Vincenza.  The demonstration is organized by No Dal Molin and other groups.  American citizens should avoid the area around Vicenza for the period July 3-5.

On July 5-6, a torch-lit walk is planned through the center of L’Aquila from 24.00 to 03.32 (time of the recent earthquake).  This event is expected to be peaceful.

On July 7, there will be a large demonstration in Piazza Barberini (the Metro station closest to the U.S. Embassy in Rome).  Several hundred participants plan to “greet” the G-8 leaders with loud music organized by the COBAS (Confederazione dei Comitati di Base) and other autonomous unions.  The Italian authorities note that, while there is potential for problems during this demonstration, they are not anticipating violence.

News media are reporting that some unspecified groups will attempt random “communicative actions” in the center of Rome on the 8 th and 9 th of July.

On July 10, organizers are planning a demonstration in L’Aquila, after closure of the G-8 working schedule.

Since some of these activities are in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Rome, American citizens should avoid these areas, if possible.  For U.S. Embassy hours, please see http://italy.usembassy.gov/acs/addresses.asp .  If you observe public disorder or violence, please notify local police authorities immediately.

Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Mission’s website at http://italy.usembassy.gov, and the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website, www.travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found.  The U.S. Embassy also encourages American citizens to review to "A Safe Trip Abroad," found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html , which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad.  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. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.


All Americans in Italy are urged to register either online at https://travelregistration.state.gov or by phone or in person directly with the U.S. Embassy in Rome or the Consulates General in Milan, Florence, and Naples. Registering gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Italy and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency.

U.S. Embassy Consular Section in Rome is located at Via Vittorio Veneto, 121. The telephone number is 06-4674-1. Our website is: http://italy.usembassy.gov

U.S. Consulates General in Italy are located in:

NAPLES: Piazza della Repubblica; telephone number: 081-583-8111
MILAN: Via Principe Amedeo, 2/10; telephone number: 02-290-351
FLORENCE : Lungarno A. Vespucci, 38; telephone number: 055-266-951

U.S. Consular Agencies in Italy are located in:

GENOA: Via Dante, 2
PALERMO: Via Vaccarini, 1
VENICE: Marco Polo Airport, General Aviation Terminal, Viale Galileo Galilei, 30

 

(June 30, 2009) – Heightened Passport Controls at Italian Borders in Preparation for Group of Eight (G8) Summit in July

The Italian Minister of Interior, Roberto Maroni, has announced that Italy will temporarily suspend the Schengen agreement from June 28 through July 15, 2009, as a security measure for the upcoming G-8 Summit to be held in Italy from July 8-10.  American citizens planning travel between Italy and Schengen Area countries during this time are encouraged to verify that their U.S. passport is valid for travel (not expired), and should carry their passport when they travel.

The Schengen agreement allows for movement across borders of the participating countries, without the need to present a passport.  Temporary suspension of the agreement means that from June 28 through July 15 a passport will be required for travel between Italy and Schengen Area countries. The participating countries include: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.   

Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Mission’s website at http://italy.usembassy.gov, and the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website, www.travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found.  The U.S. Embassy also encourages American citizens to review to "A Safe Trip Abroad," found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html , which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad.  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. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

All Americans in Italy are urged to register either online at https://travelregistration.state.gov or by phone or in person directly with the U.S. Embassy in Rome or the Consulates General in Milan, Florence, and Naples. Registering gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Italy and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency.

U.S. Embassy Consular Section in Rome is located at Via Vittorio Veneto, 121. The telephone number is 06-4674-1. Our website is: http://italy.usembassy.gov

U.S. Consulates in Italy are located in:

NAPLES: Piazza della Repubblica; telephone number: 081-583-8111
MILAN: Via Principe Amedeo, 2/10; telephone number: 02-290-351
FLORENCE : Lungarno A. Vespucci, 38; telephone number: 055-266-951

U.S. Consular Agencies in Italy are located in:

GENOA: Via Dante, 2
PALERMO: Via Vaccarini, 1
VENICE: Marco Polo Airport, General Aviation Terminal, Viale Galileo Galilei, 30