(USA TODAY) -- The United States has issued a global travel alert because of an al-Qaeda terrorist threat.
State Department says the potential for terrorism is particularly
strong in the Middle East and North Africa. It says an attack could
occur or come from the Arabian Peninsula.
The alert reads:
"Current information suggests that al-Qa'ida and affiliated
organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and
beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period
between now and the end of August."
The travel alert expires on Aug. 31.
may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both
official and private interests. U.S. citizens are reminded of the
potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and
other tourist infrastructure. Terrorists have targeted and attacked
subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services.
U.S. citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their
surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect
themselves when traveling," the alert reads.
It is recommended
that U.S. citizens register their travel plans with the Consular Section
of the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration
"We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling
abroad enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment
Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates,
and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to
contact you in an emergency. If you don't have Internet access, enroll
directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate," the alert reads.
continue to work closely with other nations on the threat from
international terrorism, including from al-Qa'ida. Information is
routinely shared between the U.S. and our key partners in order to
disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential
operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats," it
The travel alert comes a day after the U.S. announced that
it would shutter its embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim
world on Sunday, and possibly longer.
The threat was linked to
al-Qaeda and focused on the Middle East and Central Asia, said Rep. Ed
Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
State Department officials said Thursday they were acting out of an "abundance of caution."
Contributing: The Associated Press