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State Department Issues Worldwide Cautions to Americans

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2002 – The U.S. State Department issued a worldwide caution Nov. 6 warning Americans to be alert for possible terrorist attacks.

Officials issued the caution over concerns that the scheduled Virginia execution next week of a known terrorist would prompt retaliatory attacks against Americans.

Virginia has set Nov. 14 as the execution date for Mir Ahmad Kasi, also known as Mir Aimal Kansi. He is a Pakistani national who was convicted in 1997 of murdering two CIA employees in 1993 in Langley, Va.

"The U.S. government continues to receive credible indications that extremist groups and individuals are planning additional terrorist actions against U.S. interests," a State Department announcement states. "Such actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations. Because security and security awareness have been elevated within the United States, the terrorists may target U.S. interests overseas."

The statement warns that terrorists do not distinguish between military and civilian targets. As protection around government facilities strengthens, attackers may seek to target "softer" civilian targets. It also warns "American citizens may be targeted for kidnapping or assassination."

The statement notes U.S. government facilities are on heightened alert and may be closed at any time. It urges Americans abroad to monitor media reports and maintain contact with the nearest American embassy or consulate.

"We remind American citizens to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution," the statement says.

Information for travelers overseas is available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov and via telephone at (202)647-5225.

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