Entries in Travel Alert (4)


US Issues Travel Alert Warning Americans after Foiled Terror Plot

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Following the disruption of an alleged Iranian-linked plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., the State Department has issued a travel alert, warning about the possibility of "anti-U.S. actions."

"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," the department said.

The warning was released Tuesday, the same day news surfaced that FBI and DEA agents reportedly foiled the plot to kill Adel Al-Jubeir.  Officials say bomb attacks on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C., as well as bombings of the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, were also discussed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


State Department Issues Travel Alert, Orders US Citizens to Leave Yemen

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department Wednesday issued a travel alert warning U.S. citizens in Yemen of a "high security threat level" in the country.  The agency said Americans should not travel to Yemen and urged U.S. citizens in Yemen to depart immediately because of "terrorist activities" and "civil unrest."  

At this time, a U.S. government-facilitated evacuation will not take place because commercial travel options remain.  

U.S. citizens choosing to stay in Yemen are advised to limit nonessential travel and enroll their stay in the country through the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP).  Registrants will be prompted to provide their current contact information and next of kin or emergency contact information.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Travel Alert Issued as Bahrain Protests Continue

Photo Courtesy - JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images(MANAMA, Bahrain) -- Americans are being urged to defer from non-essential travel to Bahrain, as political and social unrest continues in the Middle East.

The U.S. State Department issued the travel advisory on Friday, saying that although Westerners are not being threatened or targeted, unnecessary travel to Bahrain should be avoided at least until March 18, when the current travel alert expires.

On Saturday, Bahrain’s Pearl Square was reopened to traffic after security forces vacated the square. This decrease in security led to thousands of euphoric protesters entering the square, singing, chanting, waving flags, and hugging one another.

Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa issued a statement saying that the government was slow to respond to the demands of the people. Representatives from the opposition Democratic Society say it appears that there is a real chance for negotiations, and there is speculation that a negotiated settlement can be achieved.

President Barack Obama spoke with King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain on Friday and reiterated his condemnation of violence being used against peaceful protesters. President Obama said he believed that Bahrain should respect the universal rights of its people, and should show some restraint, while holding those responsible for violence against protesters responsible.

On Saturday, the Crown Prince issued a statement via State TV expressing sorrow for the deaths of protesters, and also asked that journalists follow professional guidelines and refrain from reporting false information.

Hospital officials said on Friday that at least 100 people were injured after soldiers reportedly fired weapons and tear gas into the air amid protests of the government's ban on demonstrations. The violence erupted hours after protesters came together to mourn those who were killed in Pearl Square during a midnight clash with police on Thursday. At least five people were killed in the demonstrations after police stormed and dismantled protest camps set up at Pearl Square Thursday in the kingdom's capital of Manama.

Protesters in Bahrain are demanding not just jobs but also the release of political prisoners and broad constitutional reforms. They are calling for the end to the monarchy that has ruled Bahrain for 200 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Airport Lobbies Possible Terror Targets in European Plot, Official Says

Image Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Pakistani intelligence officials say that a drone strike inside Pakistan has killed eight German nationals in the Waziristan region of Pakistan. US officials could not immediately confirm the report.

The strike comes a day after the State Department issued a travel advisory for Americans traveling to Europe because of the potential threat of Mumbai-style commando attacks on civilians, possibly by terrorists of German origin based in Waziristan. Authorities learned of the possible plot this summer from a German national who had been training for jihad in Pakistan and was captured in Afghanistan.

In an interview Sunday, Pakistan's Ambassador Husain Haqqani told ABC News that the plot's leaders had been identified and targeted.

"I think that several people who were involved in the plotting have been targeted, and the others are certainly on the radar of U.S., Pakistani and European intelligence services," Haqqani said.

The suspected German militants killed Monday in Waziristan reportedly belonged to a group called Jehad al Islami.

Among the possible targets in the suspected European terror plot are pre-security areas in at least five major European airports, a law enforcement official told ABC News. Authorities believe terror teams are preparing to mount a commando like attack featuring small units and small firearms modeled after the Mumbai attack two years ago.

The State Department issued a highly unusual "Travel Alert" Sunday for "potential terrorist attacks in Europe," saying U.S. citizens are "reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure."

One scenario authorities fear is a repeat of the 1985 attack on the Rome and Vienna airports, when Palestinian extremists threw grenades and opened fire on travelers waiting at ticket counters injuring 140 and killing 19, including a small child.

A curfew was ordered this weekend at Ramstein U.S. Air Force Base in Germany, with soldiers told to remain at home and not to wear uniforms off base "in response to a threat condition," a Ramstein spokesperson said. The U.S. European Command (EUCOM) commented, "With the increased reports of terror activity throughout Europe, the US and its allies are working to ensure the safety and security throughout the region. The US and partner nations are working to investigate and prevent possible terror threats."

But despite public alerts, there are still concerns the terror group may go ahead with attacks.

"If they believe they can pull it off, I think there's every reason to believe they may go ahead and try it," former FBI agent Brad Garrett, now an ABC News consultant. "These plans go together at a particular point in time, and it may be perhaps that they are at a juncture with people, equipment and locations that they need to do it now."

U.S. Homeland Security Issues Terror Bulletin

ABC News reporters checking European airports over the weekend reported no obvious signs of heightened security, but authorities said such steps would not necessarily be visible.

The U.K. upgraded its terrorism warning to "high" from "general" for France and Germany but would not comment on specifics.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI sent a bulletin to local U.S. law enforcement agencies Sunday morning, saying there was currently no information about specific threats to U.S. targets, but they are monitoring recent terrorist threat reports regarding Europe and would continue to "assess."

The bulletin noted al Qaeda affiliates and those who "follow their ideology" may inspire those with "the ability to access the U.S. legally" and expressed concerns about possible attacks using "small arms, lone shooters and small unit tactics."

Federal authorities urged localities to raise general security awareness, including training private security staff to take note of individuals "loitering for no apparent reason, sketching or pace counting."

In a phone conference with reporters Sunday, State Department officials took pains not to discourage travel to Europe with the alert and gave few concrete steps to take.

"Use common sense," said State Department Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy. "If [tourists] see unattended packages or hear loud noises, quickly move away from them."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio