US issues warning to Americans abroad

The State Department has urged caution among US citizens worldwide after Washington killed al Qaeda leader

Americans abroad could potentially face increased violence after a US drone strike in Afghanistan killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, the State Department warned on Tuesday.

In a Worldwide Caution communique, the State Department said that “current information suggests that terrorist organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against US interests in multiple regions across the globe,” adding that such attacks may be carried out via suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings.

The alert advised Americans abroad to check the State Department website for travel advisories, watch local news to keep up to date with current events, and stay in contact with US embassies and consulates in the countries they are traveling to.

Americans have also been warned that US facilities abroad may “temporarily close or periodically suspend public services” while threats and security situations were being evaluated and dealt with.

“As terrorist attacks often occur without warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness when traveling abroad,” the alert concluded.

The warning comes after the CIA conducted a drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend that killed al Qaeda leader and Osama Bin Laden successor Ayman al-Zawahiri. The 71-year-old Egyptian national was in the top 22 of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists since October 2001 and he is believed to be one of the masterminds behind the 9/11 attacks in the US.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has claimed that the killing of Zawahiri has made the US safer, however, the State Department has warned that his death triggers “a higher potential for anti-American violence” as al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations may be compelled to respond to the assassination.

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