Feb 07, 2003 10:11 PST
[Here's a forward of the warnings being issued to Americans abroad by
the State Department. Relayed to me by a European colleague, it
starts with an oft-forgotten quote from Goering. J ATLAS]
<----- Original Text ----->
"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being
attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and
exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
-- Hermann Goering
US State Department
07 February 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 commonsense precautions.
American citizens residing overseas should follow the standard
emergency preparedness advice found on the Department's web site at:
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 HTTP://TRAVEL.STATE.GOV.