State Dept Issues Worldwide Travel Alert After Bin Laden’s Death, US Posts in Pakistan Close Until Further Notice

The State Dept issued a new Worldwide Travel Alert dated May 01, 2011 in the aftermath of Bil Bin Laden’s death:

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan. Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. This Travel Alert expires August 1, 2011.

U.S. Embassy operations in affected areas will continue to the extent possible under the constraints of any evolving security situation. 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. U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Read in full here.

On April 30, the US Embassy in Kabul restricted staff movements due to threats from extremists to increase attacks throughout Afghanistan at the beginning of May to mark the start of the fighting season.  The Embassy has curtailed the movements and activities of its personnel for April 30 and May 1, 2011. Yesterday, the US Embassy has extended a curtailment of travel for its employees throughout Afghanistan until 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4.  Ambassador Eikenberry also released an official statement.

In Pakistan, the US Embassy in Islamabad issued a warden message alerting US citizens of possible violence and announcing the closure of all diplomatic and consular posts in the country until further notice:

This Warden Notice is to alert U.S. citizens of the possibility of violent protests and demonstrations in major cities of Pakistan, specifically near U.S. Consulates General in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, and the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.  Spontaneous protests in reaction to the recent events, could erupt at any time at locations perceived as Western, including restaurants and areas where foreigners are known to congregate and may turn violent.  The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and the U.S. Consulates General in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar will be closed on Monday, May 02, 2011, except for emergency American Citizens Services.   The Embassy will issue an updated Warden Message when the Embassy and Consulates General reopen for routine business.

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence following recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan.  Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations.  U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

In Kenya, outgoing US Ambassador Ranneberger said that justice has finally been served through the killing of Bin Laden by U.S. forces.  In addition to recalling the horrific attack of 9/11, he also remembers the deaths of so many Kenyans and Americans in the attack on the U.S. Embassy in 1998 by al Qaeda.

“Those victims and their families and loved ones have now received a measure of justice. I well recall the sombre commemoration I hosted for the 10th anniversary of the 1998 bombing. Thus, for me personally – and of course more importantly for the Kenyan people – the killing of Bin Laden provides a sense of closure,” he said.

The US embassies in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Indonesia republished the new Worldwide Travel Alert but carry no other special warden message.


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