US issues worldwide travel alertBack to Forum
Anonymous2 Aug 2013
From the BBC…
The US state department has said it is issuing a global travel alert because of an unspecified al-Qaeda threat.
In a statement, the department said the potential for an attack was particularly strong in the Middle East and North Africa.
The move comes shortly after the US announced 21 embassies and consulates in 18 counties would be shut on Sunday.
The alert expires on 31 August 2013, the department said. It recommended US citizens travelling abroad be vigilant.
“Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” the statement said.2 Aug 2013
Oh what a surprise. A global travel alert to frighten us all at the start of annual holiday season in many parts of the world. The bogey men of international terrorism are targeting travellers!
Surely I am not alone in thinking this is US and UK paranoia and control. I would not mind but please remind me of the last terrorist event which was presaged by an alert from either government!
This is simply posturing and keeping people in fear whilst justifying spending billions on weapons and data collection. Even one of Cameron’s advisors says this is pointless. ( need to read full article not the headline)
There is undoubtedly bad people out there intent on doing harm. But this type of knee jerk global warning is rediculous and undermining credibility. There is also the issue of the US and UK own behaviour but that a whole me area of debate.3 Aug 2013
Knee jerk reaction or bogey men of International terrorism, the fact remains, the threat is still there.
Has anyone changed their travel plans over the 4 weeks or so…or has the been an increase in airport security for US flights??4 Aug 2013
I agree with Pdtraveller. There is a risk, and we all know about. I have visited 8 different countries in the past 4weeks, and did not notice any specific tightened controls at boarders ( including the USA and the UK)
I noticed a tougher control sometime in april/may in various countries, but nothing specific now.
Most of my travel plans depend on my business only, not on the medias. Would there be a monsoon or a drought does not influence my trips.
Travelling most of my time for the last 30 years, I double check the warnings and moderate them taking into account my own knowledge/ experience of the countries I will be travelling to.
The Ramadan is coming to its end in a few days, added to the Snowden story, it is a good political opportunity for our leaders to frighten people and keep them quiet,
In the case of unrest , the matter is different. I would avoid Cairo for now, but will not change my flights to Rio this friday.4 Aug 2013
MartynSincair……few can change plans as these warnings carry no weight. Like you I flew this weekend however I had chose not to I would have lost a great deal of money. The airline will not refund nod neither the rental agency or hotel. Insurance would not cover this.u
Unlike diplomats I can’t just shut up shop and be flown to a place of refuge. Until such warnings result allow for this for joe public they are meaningless scare tactics used to justify government spending ad divert attention from people’s real issues4 Aug 2013
pdtraveller – and if there was an incident, and it was then revealed that the government had been warned, but did not make this public – what would you say then?
This is a classic “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” situation.
And your comment about governments using this as a scare tactic for other purposes – very sad. It says more about your own thinking than it does about any government’s.5 Aug 2013
I hope not Martyn, although I find they’re much longer when you try to get in than trying to get out. And when you’re getting in the threat is over for that flight. I’ll let you know later this week.5 Aug 2013
I would rather have a warning than no warning at all, so I can at least take into account how credible the warnings are and make decisions accordingly. Some have no credibility whatsoever – take, for example, the “Black” Outbound Travel Alert which the HK government has had in place for the Philippines since the hostage crisis over two years ago – signifying that Hong Kong residents shouldf “Avoid all travel” and that the Philippines is as dangerous to visit as Syria, and more dangerous than Egypt, the Lebanon, Turkey and many others (http://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/ota/)
As to this new alert – it’s worrying, but I haven’t changed any travel plans as a result5 Aug 2013
I concur with JPA – Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Plus the DM will have hyped it however “Implants” are a further worrisome development if true..5 Aug 2013
So they are going to close the Embassies that were mainly going to be closed anyway due to the end of Ramadan and Eid.
I believe very little that any Governments announce. They have been proven to be liars time and time again, it seems to be the nature of their business. Why should I believe that this time they are telling the truth?
WMD’s anyone?5 Aug 2013
I think the point is being missed. These warnings are pointless if they do not result in people taking some diet of action and that they do not incur loss by doing so.
Governments first priority is to protect its citizens and to act in the name of those whom they serve. If we are to believe that these warnings are real then I should be able to change my long held travel plans without loss.
On the wider conspiracy issue … I am no conspiracy theorist but why should I trust my government anymore than I would trust a bank again, trust a newspaper not to hack my phone, a hospital not to abuse my relatives or a church not to abuse my children? All great institutions have demonstrated a propensity to do ill and I see no reason to trust either the American military or my government not to be swayed more by the arms industry and other powerful bodies than by the real needs of its citizens.5 Aug 2013