As you enjoy the holiday season with loved ones, please remain vigilant with respect to your personal safety and awareness of your surroundings. The State Department recently issued a Worldwide Travel Alert that is in effect for the next three months. The alert cautions all U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad to remain watchful for potentially dangerous situations, because terrorists continue to target locations frequented by U.S. citizens, including government facilities, hotels, shopping areas, places of worship, and schools. If you witness unusual or suspicious activity or behavior, please contact the local authorities immediately.
We join the State Department in urging all international travelers to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), as this will allow the State Department to send you up-to-the-minute information about potential concerns or threats in your vicinity while abroad. The alert, copied below, also lists informational websites and social media pages that may provide helpful information specific to your location.
As always, our Department of Public Safety stands ready to assist you in the event of an emergency. Our officers are available 24/7 at: (310)506-4441.
We wish you a safe and joyous holiday!
WORLDWIDE TRAVEL ALERT
Last Updated: December 19, 2014
The lone wolf attack in Sydney, Australia on December 15, 2014, resulting in the deaths of two hostages, is a reminder that U.S. citizens should be extra cautious, maintain a very high level of vigilance, and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security. This Travel Alert expires on March 19, 2015.
An analysis of past attacks and threat reporting strongly suggests a focus by terrorists not only on the targeting of U.S. government facilities but also on hotels, shopping areas, places of worship, and schools, among other targets, during or coinciding with this holiday period. U.S. citizens abroad should be mindful that terrorist groups and those inspired by them can pose unpredictable threats in public venues. U.S. citizens should remain alert to local conditions and for signs of danger.
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 nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Up-to-date information on travel and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
For additional information, U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information pages. You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, Travel.State.Gov, which also contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook