This message is being sent to inform U.S. citizens residing or traveling in the Kyrgyz Republic about an updated Worldwide Caution issued by the Department of State on March 3, 2016. The full text can be found at http://www.travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html.
The Department of State is updating the Worldwide Caution with information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. Current information suggests that ISIL, al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions. Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that U.S.citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated July 29, 2015.
In August 2014, after the United States and regional partners commenced military action against ISIL, ISIL called on supporters to attack foreigners wherever they are. Authorities believe there is a continued likelihood of reprisal attacks against U.S., Western, and coalition partner interests throughout the world, especially in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Asia.
U.S. citizens continue to be at risk of kidnappings and hostage events as ISIL, al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates attempt to finance their operations through kidnapping-for-ransom operations. U.S. citizens have been kidnapped and murdered by members of terrorist and violent extremist groups. ISIL, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are particularly effective with kidnapping for ransom and are using ransom money to fund their activities.
Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons and target both official and private interests. Examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, 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 U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during holidays. In the past year, major extremist attacks occurred in countries including Tunisia, France, Nigeria, Belgium, Turkey, Egypt, and Mali.
U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure. Extremists have targeted and attempted attacks on subway and rail systems, aviation, and maritime services.
U.S. citizens considering maritime travel also should review information at the websites of the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard for information related to maritime and port security globally. Current areas of concern include the Caribbean, Gulf of Guinea, Horn of Africa, and the Straits of Malacca and Singapore ?as a result of maritime crimes including smuggling, human trafficking, and piracy.
CENTRAL ASIA: Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al-Qa’ida, and the Islamic Jihad Union remain active in Central Asia. These groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S. government interests.
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.
For further information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Kyrgyzstan Country Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, located at 171 Prospect Mira, Bishkek 720016, at +(996) (312) 59 7000, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(996) (312) 59 7000.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides several resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector abroad. Additional information on OSAC can be found on OSAC.gov or by following OSAC on Twitter.
- Mariners should also review information at the websites of the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard for information related to maritime and port security globally.