Travelers are being warned to stay vigilant in crowded areas (Picture: Getty Images)
The US Department of State (DoS) has updated its ‘Worldwide Caution’ amid the ongoing threat of terrorism to Americans.
Officials are warning citizens to ‘maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness when traveling’.
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They say the threat of terrorism is very real, and people should also be aware of the possibility of political unrest, violence, demonstrations, and criminal activities when traveling.
Part of the warning reads: ‘Terrorist groups including ISIS, al-Qa’ida, their associates, and those inspired by such organizations, are intent on attacking US citizens wherever they are.
‘Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons to target US government and private interests. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack to more effectively target crowds, including the use of edged weapons, pistols, and vehicles as weapons.
Relatives of victims of the explosion at the Al Rawdah mosque, wait near ambulances outside Suez Canal University hospital in Ismailia, Egypt (Picture: REUTERS)
‘Extremists increasingly aim to assault “soft” targets, such as: high-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.); hotels, clubs, and restaurants; places of worship; schools; parks; shopping malls and markets; tourism infrastructure; public transportation systems and; airports.’
They also warn of kidnap — a tactic terrorists employ to finance their operations or for political purposes.
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The DoS urges travelers to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive security messages. It also makes it easier for officials to locate you in an emergency.
Officials are still expecting terrorists to try to take down an airliner as well.
A spokesperson for the DoS said: ‘The Department also remains concerned that terrorists could again seek to down aircraft using concealed explosives or hijack commercial flights.’
Victims of the Manchester bombing earlier this year (Picture: PA)
Areas of concern
Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Kenya; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Somalia; Republic of South Sudan; Sudan.
East Asia and Pacific
North Korea; Philippines.
Middle East and North Africa
Algeria; Egypt; Iran; Iraq; Israel, The West Bank, and Gaza; Jordan; Lebanon; Libya; Saudi Arabia; Syria; Tunisia; Yemen.
South and Central Asia
Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Pakistan.
Colombia; Cuba; El Salvador; Haiti; Honduras; Mexico; Venezuela.