As terrorist attacks often take place without any warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate, proactive steps to increase their security awareness when traveling. We encourage U.S. citizens to read Country Specific Information pages, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts on travel.state.gov before planning a trip. In addition, prior to departing the U.S., we urge travelers to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages about terrorist threats or security incidents. While abroad, U.S. citizens should monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Terrorist groups and their associates, and those inspired by such organizations, are intent on attacking U.S. and Western citizens around the world. Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons to strike U.S. interests, but many are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack to more effectively target crowds, including the use of edged weapons, pistols, and vehicles. Extremists are increasingly assaulting “soft” targets, such as:
The following recommendations may help you avoid becoming a target of opportunity. These precautions may provide some degree of protection, and can serve as practical and psychological deterrents to would-be terrorists.
Follow the instructions provided by the police and security services during an emergency.