As terrorist attacks often take place without any warning, U.S. citizens should 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 Information pages and Travel Advisories on Travel.State.Gov before planning a trip. In addition, prior to departing the United States, 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 be aware of the contact information for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Terrorist groups, 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 to 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: