The department cautioned Americans to “maintain a high level
of vigilance,” warning that international terrorist groups
like Al-Qaeda could be planning attacks.
Essentially any place in the world — the statement specifically
mentions Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East – where people
may gather in large numbers is a potential lightning rod for acts
Potential targets include “residential areas, business
offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools,
public areas, shopping malls, and other tourist destinations both
in the United States and abroad where US citizens gather in large
numbers,” the statement warned.
Attacks may include assassinations, suicide operations,
kidnappings, hijackings and bombings, it said.
US government compounds were also included on the list of places
at risk of an attack.
The State Department also reminded Americans of past attacks on
public transport systems in Moscow, London and New York.
The renewed warning from US authorities comes just days after a
dramatic siege by Islamic militants in an upscale shopping mall
in Nairobi, Kenya, that resulted in 72 deaths, including 61
civilians, six Kenyan soldiers and five assailants. The attackers
took hostages and engaged in gun battles for three days with
Kenyan security forces. Over 200 people were reportedly wounded
in the event.
The Islamist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the
incident, which it said was retribution for the Kenyan military
being activated in Somalia.
More broadly, the department also cited “credible information” to
indicate terrorist groups sought to attack US interests in
Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
It also mentioned hotspot regions of Egypt, Syria and Tunisia,
which may also pose a risk to Americans there, the statement