U.S. State Department Declares Travel Warning

US passport

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Friday, the U.S. State Department declared travel warnings for all U.S. Citizens either living or traveling abroad. Concurrent with the warnings was the announcement of closure for 21 of its embassies and consulates located in Muslim countries in the Middle East, northern region of Africa, and southern parts of Asia.

The embassy and consulate closures are expected to happen on Sunday which is the first workday of the week in these countries. Details as to when they will reopen are sketchy as the alert is effective until August 31.

American travelers and citizens abroad are advised to be cautious when going about their daily activities across the globe. The State Department reminded everyone that in the past public transportation systems, airlines, and boats have been the targets for terrorist attacks.

The State Department gave no details as to what it knows and what chatter prompted the warning. However, it did state that the global terrorist organization al-Qaeda is believed to be the entity planning the targets.

U.S. Intelligence agencies receive threats and other suspicious communications chatter frequently. It is only when that chatter becomes more credible that alerts are issued.

General Martin Dempsey who is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made the statement in an ABC pre-recorded interview (to be shown on Sunday) that this threat has higher specificity than its predecessors and indicates that al-Qaeda is seeking to attack Western targets which has a broader scope than only U.S. interests.

This recent threat comes after almost one year since the September 11 attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi that killed the American Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans.

That incident has been the focus of much political controversy between the Obama Administration and lawmakers as well as citizens demanding answers as to why proactive action was not taken after receiving credible threats such as the recent ones.

Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) who is the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee praised the Obama Administration for its positive action in protecting the nation’s embassies and consulates overseas.

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Posted by on Aug 3 2013. Filed under New, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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