|09STATE12880||2009-02-11 23:58:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Secretary of State|
1. This Travel Alert is being updated to warn Americans
about heightened security concerns in and around the
Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf. U.S. citizens
traveling to or already in the region are reminded to
maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate
steps to increase their security awareness. This replaces
the Travel Alert for the Arabian Peninsula and Persian
Gulf dated September 23, 2008, to include continued
threats to the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, and expires on May
2. The security threat level in the Arabian Peninsula and
Persian Gulf region remains high, with continued threats
to the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen. On September 17,
2008, a terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a,
Yemen killed several security personnel and innocent
bystanders, including one U.S. citizen. Credible
information indicates that al-Qaida and affiliated
organizations continue to plan attacks against U.S.
interests in the region. These attacks may employ a wide
variety of tactics including suicide operations,
assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings.
While conventional weapons such as explosive devices are a
more immediate threat in many areas, the use of non-
conventional weapons, including chemical or biological
agents, must be considered a possible threat. Terrorists
do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.
Increased security at official U.S. facilities may lead
terrorists and their sympathizers to seek softer targets
such as public transportation, residential areas, and
public areas where people congregate, including
restaurants, hotels, clubs, and shopping areas.
3. Potential targets are not limited to those companies
or establishments with overt U.S. ties. For instance,
terrorists may target movie theaters, liquor stores, bars,
casinos, or any similar type of establishment, regardless
of whether they are owned and operated by host country
nationals. Due to varying degrees of security at all such
locations, U.S. citizens should be particularly vigilant
when visiting these establishments. From time to time,
the Embassy may restrict official Americans from
restaurants, hotels, or shopping areas. U.S. citizens
should exercise caution and take prudent security
measures, including maintaining a high level of vigilance,
avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile,
varying times and routes for all travel, and ensuring
travel documents are current.
4. U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are
encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or
Consulate through the State Department's travel
registration web site at
https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ so that they
can obtain updated information on travel and security.
Americans without Internet access may register directly
with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By
registering, American citizens make it easier for the
Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.
5. U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a
heightened state of alert. These facilities may
temporarily close or periodically suspend public services
to assess their security posture. In those instances,
U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to
provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Americans
abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain
contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
6. As the Department continues to develop information on
any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas,
it shares credible threat information through its Consular
Information Program documents, including the Worldwide
Caution, available on the Internet at
STATE 00012880 002 OF 002
http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the
Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on
security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in
the United States and Canada or, outside the United States
and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.
These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday
through Friday, Eastern Time (except U.S. federal
7. Minimize Considered.