BREAKING: State Department Issues Global Travel Alert

Source:  Mark Mazzetti / The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The United States issued a global travel alert to American citizens on Friday, warning of the potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, carried out by operatives of Al Qaeda and their associates.

A bulletin to travelers and expatriates, issued by the State Department, came less than a day after the department announced that it was closing American diplomatic missions in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere through the weekend because of an unspecified terrorism threat.

“The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula,” read the bulletin, by the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. “Current information suggests that Al Qaeda 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 bulletin did not advise against travel to any particular country, but it admonished American citizens to be particularly mindful of their surroundings, especially in tourist areas, and recommended that they register their travel plans wth the State Department.

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