Saturday, 10 September 2016

US Issues Worldwide Caution For Citizens Travelling India And Other Countries

US Issues Worldwide Caution For Citizens Travelling India And Other Countries

Washington:  The US has issued a worldwide caution for its citizens travelling abroad, including India, in view of the increased threat from terror groups such as ISIS, Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Taliban.

"Current information suggests that terrorist groups continue to plan attacks in multiple regions," the state department said in a worldwide caution issued yesterday.

"Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that US citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness," it said.

The state department said ISIS has called its supporters to attack US citizens and coalition partners wherever they are. In the past year, major terrorist attacks occurred in Belgium, France, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh among others.

Authorities believe there is a continued likelihood of attacks against the US, western and coalition partner interests throughout the world, especially in the middle east, North Africa, Europe and Asia, it said.

The US government assesses terrorist groups in South Asia may be planning attacks in the region, possibly against US facilities, citizens, and interests. The presence of al-Qaeda, Taliban elements, including the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Daesh, indigenous sectarian groups, and other terrorist organisations, pose a danger to US citizens in the region, it said.

"India continues to experience terrorist and insurgent activities which may affect US citizens directly or indirectly," the state department said.

Anti-western terrorist groups active in India include Islamist extremist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Past attacks have targeted public places, including some frequented by westerners, such as luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas, it said.

In Pakistan, terrorist attacks have occurred against civilian, government and foreign targets, it said.

Attacks have included armed assaults on heavily guarded sites, including Pakistani military installations and airports.

Extremist groups have also targeted hotels and western interests in Pakistan's settled areas, including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Quetta. Terrorists and criminal groups also have resorted to kidnapping for ransom.

According to the state department, credible information indicates terrorist groups such as ISIS, and al Qaeda and affiliates continue to plot attacks in Europe as foreign fighters return home from Syria and Iraq, while other individuals may be radicalised or inspired by ISIS propaganda.

The US government remains highly concerned about possible attacks against US citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived US and Western interests, in the Middle East and North Africa, the state department said.

"Private US citizens should not travel to any country to participate in armed conflict. US citizens are reminded that fighting on behalf of or providing other forms of support to designated terrorist organisations, can constitute the provision of material support for terrorism, which is a serious crime that can result in penalties including prison time and large fines," it said.

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