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March 08, 2013

News

Worldwide travel caution issued to U.S. citizens about potential terrorist threats

The U.S. Department of State issued a worldwide travel caution Feb. 19 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.

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

U.S. citizens strongly are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.

Military and civilian members in the Fort McCoy work force who are deploying or traveling for official or nonofficial reasons outside the United States, its territories and possessions are required by the federal government to have an anti-terrorism briefing within 90 days of the travel, and a country-specific briefing prior to departure. These briefings will inform employees of the conditions abroad that may affect safety and security and assist with enrollment in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

The Department of State encourages U.S. citizens planning to travel abroad to enroll in STEP so that it is easier for the embassy to contact them in the event of an emergency. Information about STEP and how to enroll is available at the website http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/registration/registration_4789.html.

At Fort McCoy, the foreign travel briefings are presented by the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, Training and Security Antiterrorism Office. The briefing lasts about an hour or can be taken in parts at the attendee’s convenience. The country-specific briefings should be scheduled within two months of travel. Supervisors must be notified if personnel are traveling outside of the United States.

For more information about scheduling Antiterrorism Level I Training or travel briefings in the Fort McCoy work force, call Tom DesJardins, Antiterrorism officer, at 608-388-4719.

(Submitted by the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.)

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